Andy Cotgreave on data without emotion

Tableau senior technical evangelist Andy Cotgreave
Tableau senior technical evangelist Andy Cotgreave

Tableau’s senior technical evangelist Andy Cotgreave has boarded the data storytelling wagon. Actually, I don’t know how long he’s been there, but an article he wrote caught my attention today. He says that data without emotion is “worthless.” I agree!

Consider also the terrible Syrian refugee crisis affecting the Middle East and Europe. This tragedy had received a lot of attention from data journalists (e.g. The Economist back in Jan 2013), but the public didn’t truly engage until we saw the shocking photo of the drowned toddler on the beach. The impact of that single photo transformed public awareness in a way thousands of charts in news stories had not.

Does this mean our efforts with data are always doomed to be ignored? No, but it does mean we need to focus on making our data connect with people. If we want to drive change, we need to bring in emotions, narratives and the personal.

His passion and his lessons for data mongers makes it worth a read. Read the rest on Linkedin.

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