Campus Visualization Partnership Seminar Series - Lecture 5

The Value of Data Visualization to the US Census Bureau - Eric Newburger With rare exceptions, the story of data dissemination at the Census Bureau during the twentieth century was one of increasingly complex tabular presentations. Tables grew to hundreds of pages, becoming printed datasets rather than statistical displays. This represented the best computational technology of the day, but also left a deep imprint on the mindset of generations of Census Bureau statisticians. Today, the Census Bureau seeks to open our datasets and analyses to a broader public by moving toward greater use of visualization. This requires changing the analytical culture of our organization, and will constitute a multi-year effort. What factors lead the Census Bureau to invest so much effort? Eric Newburger is the Assistant to the Associate Director of Communications and one of the leads of the Census Bureau's effort to use the power of data visualization to open its data sets to a broader public. For the past 15 years, he has been a statistician with the Census Bureau, publishing on subjects from computer and Internet use to voting to educational attainment. He has been designing data displays professionally for nearly 30 years, having begun as a teenager in a family business publishing guides to medical services in the Washington, DC, metro area.