Sunday, January 21, 2007

More Invisible Metrics: What other trends is it vital that we make readily resuable and visualizable

So far in this series of posts about better understanding the situation on the ground in Iraq, we have focused on bringing together important trends and presenting them graphically in ways aimed at making this vital information more readily available and usable to both decision makers and to ordinary citizens.

Our short term goal has been to radically reduce each viewer's cost in time spent (compared to previous formulations) while at the same time sharply increasing the depth and breadth of understanding attained.

Our longer term goal is for this increased level of understanding (now achievable and within reach of a much larger number of individuals) to be the catalyst that spurs better discussion, improved collaboration, and much deeper thinking about what is really going on, what it means, and what actions might lead to improved results in the future.

In our next post, we will give a wrap up the ground we have covered so far in this series. For now, we have some unfinished business, namely that there are many other vital Iraq trend factors that are necessary for our more complete understanding of the situation. So continuing with the list of missing factors from our previous post, below we highlight an additional 55 factors that we discovered and selected through a close reading of the Brookings Iraq Index.

In our opinion, being able to see the trend graph for each of these would add to our overall understanding of what is going on in Iraq. Admittedly, not all of these are of equal importance but the trend for each is likely to have an important story to tell if we assemble the necessary trend data and then create the chart.
  1. Percentage of US troop fatalities caused by car bombs (page 3 table)
  2. Iraqi civilians killed by US troops (page 9 table)
  3. Police deaths in Baghdad (page 12 table)
  4. Civilian deaths in Baghdad (page 12 table)
  5. Kellogg, Brown and Root Employees in Iraq (table page 14)
  6. Combat arms troop strength (table page 14)
  7. Combat support troop strength (table page 14)
  8. Combat service support troop strength (table page 14)
  9. Dept of Defense Civilians in Iraq (table page 14)
  10. Total Civilian Personnel in Iraq & Kuwait (table page 14)
  11. Iraqis Kidnapped Nationwide (table page 15)
  12. Iraqis Kidnapped in Baghdad (table page 15)
  13. Iraqi prison population in US Custody (table page 16)
  14. Iraqi prison population in Iraqi Custody (table page 16)
  15. Active duty troop strength in Iraq (table page 20)
  16. Reserve & National Guard troop strength in Iraq (table page 20)
  17. Total US Army authorized strength - Activity duty (table page 20)
  18. Total US Army authorized strength - National Guard (table page 20)
  19. Total US Army authorized strength - Reserve (table page 20)
  20. Total US Army authorized strength - Combined Active, National Guard & Reserve (table page 20)
  21. Percentage of IEDs found and disarmed (table page 23)
  22. Number of daily Iraqi Patrols (chart page 23)
  23. Number of daily US Patrols (chart page 23)
  24. Number of daily Joint Iraqi-US Patrols (chart page 23)
  25. Number of total daily patrols (chart page 23)
  26. New passports issued (table page 24)
  27. Percent of professional class that has left since 2003 (table page 24)
  28. Iraqi refugees heading to Syria per day (table page 24)
  29. Iraqi refugees heading to Jordan per day (table page 24)
  30. US Air Strikes (Iraq only) (table page 26)
  31. C-130 Sorties flown (Iraq and Afghanistan combined) (table page 26)
  32. Diesel production (table page 29)
  33. Kerosene production (table page 29)
  34. Gasoline/Benzene production (table page 29)
  35. LPG production (table page 29)
  36. Non oil related GDP (table page 33)
  37. Total cost of US operations (table page 37)
  38. Cost of US defense activitites (table page 37)
  39. Cost of Veteran's programs (table page 37)
  40. Inflation rate (table page 39)
  41. Cost of imported gasoline (table page 39)
  42. Domestic price of gasoline (table page 39)
  43. Relative amount of car traffic (table page 40)
  44. Typical waiting time for gasoline (table page 40)
  45. Number of registered cars (table page 40)
  46. Internet subscribers (table page 41)
  47. Tons of mail sent by Iraqis (table page 41)
  48. People with potable water (table page 42)
  49. People with sewerage system coverage (table page 42)
  50. Water treatment capacity (table page 42)
  51. Annual Iraqi Medical School Graduates (table page 42)
  52. Primary school enrollment percentage (table page 43)
  53. High School enrollment percentage (table page 43)
  54. Percentage of Iraqis who approve of attacks on US led forces (table page 44)
  55. Percentage of Iraqis who strongly oppose presence of Coalition troops (table page 51)

Our list of important metrics is getting longer and longer. But this is not all there is.

What other factors do you think are important? What else is missing? What else would you like to know? What else would you like to see? Do any of these factors trigger ideas about other important factors that were not even mentioned at all? Do combination of factors come to mind for you that you think would shed even more light?

And finally, of the 100 or more factors that we have touched on in this series of posts, what is your short list of the top 10 or 20 most important ones?

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