Monday, February 28, 2011

Simon Rogers (Guardian) at Strata

I'm still watching Strata speeches at lunch, and I just finished this interesting talk by Simon Rogers at The Guardian.  He's talking about how The Guardian makes sense of big data sets, how they open the raw data to readers, and how they present data in a visualized form to readers.  He mentions the changing role of journalists a few times.  My redux is that in the past, journalists took data sets and asked "the right questions" of the data and presented that -- but now they're able to present views into the raw data that allow readers to ask their own questions.

It would be interesting if this is a sea change in more than just news.  Thinking about operations, we tend to aggregate vast collections of metrics and stats and then present "the upshot" to the customer.  They take our word for it, that the data bear us out, or they ask to see particular subsets of the data.  Are there places where we could give them the full data set, with tools that help them understand it?  Already we directly show them disk space used/free on their NAS volumes ... do we take the next step?

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