Data + Design: An open source e-book

On September 30th, Trina Chiasson presented her open source e-book Data + Design at OpenGov Hack Night. Data and Design is a free three-hundred page creative commons book explaining important data concepts in simple language.

Trina Chiasson at OpenGov Hack Night

The book was written by help from over fifty volunteers in fourteen countries around the globe and was a collaboration between Chiasson’s startup Infoactive and the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.

Data + Design: A Simple Introduction to Preparing and Visualizing Information
was conceived as an in-depth beginner’s guide to data visualization. To get the book rolling, Chiasson executed a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring Infoactive to public beta. Once they raised the funds, which exceeded three stretch goals, the team kicked off the book with a Write-a-thon in Chicago in February.

The guide is divided into five sections: Data Fundamentals, Collecting Data, Preparing Data, Visualizing Data, and What Not To Do. Individual chapters include Data Cleaning, Anatomy of a Graphic, and Perception Deception.

In addition to being Creative Commons Licensed, the entire book is available on GitHub and accepts pull requests. They’re using the platform to translate the book into other languages as well as add new chapters.

Here’s Chiasson presenting the project at OpenGov Hack Night.

As an organization that cares about digital skills, we’re excited to see such an in-depth book that helps demystify data work. Too often, we see people make data visualization site come away thinking that there’s some sort of magic involved and that their organization could never take advantage of this. This simply isn’t true. This book, designed for people who don’t have a statistics background, will be tremendously helpful for those wanting to take advantage of their organization’s data.

You can read and download the book on the Infoactive website here.