What is Data?

February 23, 2011 in Posts by Duncan Brown

Karen Strunks

Karen Strunks of talkaboutlocal.com has written an intriguing blog post asking the basic question of just what data is and what it might be most useful for. “I’ve dipped my toe in, read a bit here and there online, followed links and got a taste for it, but I was still left with the question: What is data?”

She offers some answers:

What is data? Data is information that is collected and presented in an easily digestible way. The information can take many forms; photographs, statistics, locations, stories, financial, history - you name it really!

What does data look like? Data can be presented in many ways, such as graphs and charts, to more creative and artistic ways. See the video below for a very creative and easy to understand example of visually presenting data.

Where does data come from? It can come from any source! What are you interested in? There will be data somewhere for that (though it might need to be collated!). Do you want to know how your council spends money? Do you want to know how many people used your local library in February 2008? Perhaps you are interested in health statistics, or how many photographs there are of your town taken in 1950?

Who can benefit from data? Anyone. From the government, schools, students, health bodies, corporations, small businesses, bloggers, and individuals who would like the data for personal or research reasons.

Read the rest of Karen’s inspiring words here.

Welcome to the data blog

January 17, 2011 in Posts by Duncan Brown

This blog provides a home for all the technical data collected from maps and surveys.