By @SimonCocking review of Info We Trust: How to Inspire the World with Data by  RJ Andrews, available from Amazon here.

How do we create new ways of looking at the world? Join award-winning data storyteller RJ Andrews as he pushes beyond the usual how-to, and takes you on an adventure into the rich art of informing.

Creating Info We Trust is a craft that puts the world into forms that are strong and true.  It begins with maps, diagrams, and charts — but must push further than dry defaults to be truly effective. How do we attract attention? How can we offer audiences valuable experiences worth their time? How can we help people access complexity?

Dark and mysterious, but full of potential, data is the raw material from which new understanding can emerge. Become a hero of the information age as you learn how to dip into the chaos of data and emerge with new understanding that can entertain, improve, and inspire. Whether you call the craft data storytelling, data visualization, data journalism, dashboard design, or infographic creation — what matters is that you are courageously confronting the chaos of it all in order to improve how people see the world. Info We Trust is written for everyone who straddles the domains of data and people: data visualization professionals, analysts, and all who are enthusiastic for seeing the world in new ways.

This is a fun, thought provoking book. Throughout the pages it is beautifully illustrate in creative, imaginative and interesting ways. You could say this might undermine his thesis, that if we present info and data well, then it will deliver a higher truth – because the bad guys also use graphics to make their points too. However if you look at this book in an open minded way then it is a great colour exposition on ideas and how we present them. At times it definitely reminded us of a graphic novel, and further into the book his sources of visual inspiration were clear to see, and it is clearly a canon he is aware of.

We enjoyed turning the pages, and feeling as well as seeing how he chose to serve up his ideas. The subtitle is ‘how to inspire the world with data’ and this book is a worthy addition to possibly a new genre of ‘data visualisation guies’. Well worth checking out.

 


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