Drawing by numbers

drawing by numbers

Are you working in an organisation where you collect data; is it difficult to know what to do with this data? Does it get stuck in dense spreadsheets and become hard to read and draw stories out of?


Data visualisation has become very popular and there are all kinds of free, online tools begging to visualise everything from your daily coffee intake to your social network. But which of these are good and which are just a waste of time? Which can actually be useful for advocates to communicate complex issues to their audience?


Drawing by Numbers is a curation of tools for activists and independent journalists who have experience with aggregating data and want to know how to visualise it. But it's also for those who have already been experimenting and want some advice and inspiration on developing visualisations. Four categories of tools are covered: charts and graphs; mapping and mash-up tools; design, layout and presentation tools and data management tools.There's also a waiting room of tools that are up next for profiling.


If you're looking for more guidance on how data and evidence can actually strengthen your campaign, you can also find the first of our Data and Design How-To's, Where is your evidence? It provides examples of inspiring advocacy campaigns which have utilised data visualisation and specific advice to help you start exploring ideas for your own advocacy.


We see these two components working together, aligning to key strands of our work.  The first, raising the level of awareness and usefulness of off-the-shelf data visualisation tools and services for advocates. The second, our thinking about the use of evidence in advocacy, and the guidance we can pass on to others about this.


Over the coming months, a lot more content will appear on the site, including more Data and Design Notes and hands-on guides to the visualisation tools.