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Data in SocietyChallenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation$
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Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane, and Humphrey Southall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348214

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.001.0001

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Critical statistical literacy and interactive data visualisations

Critical statistical literacy and interactive data visualisations

(p.349) 27 Critical statistical literacy and interactive data visualisations
Data in Society

Jim Ridgway

James Nicholson

Sinclair Sutherland

Spencer Hedger

Policy Press

Large amounts of data, relevant to decision making and political argument, are now available. However, these data are often accessible only to people with reasonably developed skills in data acquisition and exploration; less skilled users must depend on interpretations by others. This chapter shows how large amounts of evidence relevant to decision making can be made accessible to a broad public, via software the authors have developed and made widely available. The Constituency Explorer resulted from a collaboration between the House of Commons Library and Durham University, and was designed to support analysis and decision making in the 2015 and 2017 UK general elections. It facilitates access to 150 variables for each of the 650 parliamentary constituencies in the UK, which can be explored in an interactive way. The authors describe the design and features of the interface, and some of the ways it has been used. Finally, they outline some strategies for public engagement which include ‘gamification’ via a quiz accessible to smartphones.

Keywords:   Critical statistical literacy, interactive data visualisation, Constituency Explorer, UK parliamentary constituencies, gamification

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