Forbes: Special Report: Data Driven Companies

Forbes recently released a special report on “Data Driven Companies“.
An article of particular interest is Obama’s Data Visionary:

Before Edward Tufte came along, no one would have suspected that “data visualization rock star” could be a job description.
….
Earlier this month the administration announced that Tufte would join the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, tasked with tracking the distribution of the $787 billion economic stimulus package Congress passed in 2009. Tufte’s assignment: to make Recovery.gov an easily readable Web site, even while quantitatively tracking hundreds of individual stimulus projects around the country.

For the past year I’ve been helping the Recovery and Accountability Transparency Board develop an intellectual model for Recovery.gov. That relationship got formalized when the president appointed me to an independent advisory panel. I found that thrilling. Other panelists are four experts on government funding, effective management and avoiding waste and fraud. I’ll be working the data display side of Recovery.gov.

The test of a good display is not whether it’s accessible in a single glance, but whether the viewer learns something. Another way to describe it is an intense clarity of information: Intense but accessible. Being clear and straightforward is very different from being simple-minded. We can’t be simpleminded with this much data–it’s impossible to catch $787 billion scattered over the U.S. in a glance.

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