Friday, July 20, 2007

The Hidden Value of Data

Swedish Professor Hans Rosling may not be the most compelling speaker you'll ever hear, but he sure knows how to use data and statistics to reveal surprising trends in human development, and the disparity in health and economy between the western world and developing countries.

In the video clip below, presented during the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) Conference held this week in Monterey, California (an interesting event in its own right), Rosling's demonstrates how "boring" data can be used to define and contextualize highly complex problems facing development.

While I wish he would have delved into more detail with some of the phenomenon he cites, I realize his real purpose is to espouse the power of data and to encourage disparate groups studying developing countries (especially the UN) to make their data available to all researches so that it can be compiled, shared, and used by all.

If you're interested in learning more about Rosling (including other video presentations), check out his blog here.

Thanks to Ton Oncle for cluing me into the TED video clip.

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