When Decisions Are Driven by More Than Data

Designers wield real power—and responsibility  |  November 29th, 2016 I have been thinking a lot lately about storytelling, especially in the wake of the election and the ensuing discussion of the role played by fake news sites, echo chambers, and filter bubbles. Stories can lead us astray. They can reinforce what we want to hear rather than tell us the truth. And many times, two different sets of people will listen to the same story and then leave with completely different takeaways. Another thing I think a lot about is data visualization—which, as we know it, is barely a century and a half old: it arguably started with William Playfair in the 1860s. But data visualization (and modern data science) are really just another phase in a tradition of human…

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