In the last decade, the amount of information society generates has exploded. A perfect storm of ubiquitous collection, powerful algorithms, and cheap computing have given us a Big Data revolution. Today, companies are either data-driven or they’re obsolete. Analytics are the foundation of both private-sector growth and public-sector policies.
But as economist Herbert Simon observed, information consumes our attention—so modern information obesity has undermined our ability to make good decisions. More data hasn’t produced greater insights; in fact, quite the opposite. It’s easy to drown in the modern world’s torrent of data.
Art and design offer a solution: By constructing visualizations that invite exploration and deepen understanding, we can surf that torrent, absorbing information and turning it into wisdom. For a decade, Annette Hester has been leading visualization projects, focusing on how people share and consume information and designing for both hearts and minds. In this talk, she’ll show how empathetic design, creative communications, and spatial visualization can hold back the data flood and make sense of the world.