Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bridging Rep. Kingston and Michael O'Hanlon's Concerns

In the two previous posts, we have spoken to the concerns of Rep Kingston and Michael O'Hanlon as captured in the Sheryl Stolberg New York Times See You in September ... article.

To be successful in understanding what is happening in Iraq, we need to listen to both their voices.

A Sufficient Number of Factors. We need to pay heed to O'Hanlon and make sure we have looked at enough different factors.

Manageable Metrics. We have to hear Rep. Kingston's concern and worry about being overwhelmed with too much data or rendered ineffective by not having enough time by making whatever data we report on "Manageable" within the constraints of the time and resources that are available to us.

Eating our Cake. It is possible to meet both of these goals. We are not doing it today, but we are surrounded daily with visible proofs that equally difficult trending situations (see the St. Louis Fed Reserve FRED application as an example of what's possible) can be brought within our grasp and control by the judicious application of 21st century Trend Visualization methods.

Along the Way. Paying attention to our view of the best practices and principles of trend graphic excellence will provide the third ingredient that helps make our efforts in this arena more effective and more readily sharable with others. For a discussion of these, check out the Trend Visualization Principles displayed near the top of the right column of this blog or follow this link to trend principles for a review of some of our other thoughts on this subject.

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