School’s out Friday

David McCandless is a data journalist and information designer who maintains an excellent website called ‘Information is Beautiful‘.  Here’s his mission statement from the site.

Myself, and the rest of the crack team here at Information is Beautiful, are dedicated to distilling the world’s data, information and knowledge into beautiful, interesting and, above all, useful visualizations, infographics and diagrams.

If you spend even just five minutes on the site you will see that their dedication has paid off. I’ll bet you’ll be there for longer than five minutes too, because the representations of data are compelling. I used the video above in my ‘Language of our Times’ class this afternoon, and my students were blown away by what they saw. They were so impressed with the ability of the visuals to illustrate the textual information displayed at the top of the screen.

At the moment my students are researching disruptions to the Music Industry over the past 30 years and will be conducting an investigation into an artist or group of today to see what is necessary to build audience and be successful in today’s world. They won’t be writing a report, they’ll be demonstrating their knowledge through an infographic using the site to help them create it. Believe me, this is no easy task – they need to make decisions about what is important to include and must determine how best to represent that using visuals. They know it’s going to be challenging, but they’re excited to be using  and I can’t wait to see what they produce.

The weekend ahead looks magnificent here in Melbourne – 23 degrees celsius tomorrow and full sun. My bones are craving the sun, so I’ll be sitting in my backyard soaking it up. I hope you get to do much of the same. 🙂

Data visualisation – it’s here and wow!

I’m presenting at a Commerce teacher’s conference (Comview) next week, about social media and its impact on business today. Whenever I plan a presentation, it never ceases to amaze me how you seem to constantly find yourself immersed in terrific content that is so pertinent to your subject matter. This presentation from Leslie Bradshaw, one of the new wunderkinds of Data Visualisation, and co-founder of  JESS3, is just such an example. I am certainly going to be mining this data for my presentation next week.

Be sure to view this presentation, and perhaps share the following quote with your Math’s teachers;

“Math majors, rejoice. Businesses are going to need tens of thousands of you in the coming years as companies grapple with a growing mountain of data.”

Steve Lohr  – New York Times.

Data mining and the art of data visualisation are proving to be key jobs that will be in increasingly high demand in our socially connected and evolving world. The founders of JESS3, Jesse Thomas and Leslie Bradshaw are onto a good thing. (Got any openings for a highly enthusiastic teacher from Australia who loves what you do. ; )  )