Data has become more critical than ever as we seek to live “under the curve” of the Covid-19 pandemic. Further, data can not only render patterns in physical violence, it can reveal actually existing systemic racism and structural violence. In general, data about our field sites can help make sense of both visible and invisible structures and the complex systems in which we and our interlocutors are enmeshed. While aggregated and anonymous data can be characterized as “distant,” remote ethnography brings data closer by bringing both data visualizations and maps into the scope of ethnography.
To the extent that data visualizations and maps are driving public perceptions of a wide range of social issues – from the pandemic to systemic racism to global warming – we must remain aware of the origins of our data and its organizing categories. In short, all data are social. In fact, generating data or making visualizations from available data are excellent ways of learning to be critical of an increasingly datafied world.
Live Interactive Data Visualizations
- Charts enable you to analyze complex data sets, reveal relationships in the data, and make complexity intelligible to a wider audience.
- Data may contain measurable units that can be aggregated as well as express diverse qualities of particular data points.
- Visualizations that are connected to online datasets allow you to make changes to your data that will propagate to your visuals, wherever they are published, and re-render your chart according to the data.
- Live, interactive visualizations enable users to investigate your data by filtering and selecting different combinations from the data.