For a “Short”, this is surprisingly long, nicely detailed and looks at a broad range of aspects to do with the core subject:
• a little history of data usage and visualisation to tell a story
• trying to make sense of data relating to UK government spending
• how the Guardian used data released by the government , and its own research, to determine some of the real reasons behind the English riots of August 2011
• a look at Big Data, mainly highlighting points from McKinsey’s Big Data: The next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity report
• the shortcomings of measuring GDP
• some examples of countries embracing the principal of Open Data
Only one thing niggles: the “Top 100 numbers” section at the end takes up nearly a third of the book. It’s interesting enough, but hardly necessary to be that long. I wasn’t feeling short-changed by the rest, so why tag on so much?
Overall, a recommended read.