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  • “I see your point!” How data visualization and facilitating access to data can help stakeholders make more impactful decisions

“I see your point!” How data visualization and facilitating access to data can help stakeholders make more impactful decisions

Jul 15 2021


Imagine that you’re in charge of a geographical area (let’s say a state) for a period of time. During this time, a disease outbreak is predicted to happen. Your chief medical advisor tells you that the disease will kill 600 people if no action is taken. There are, however, two plans. Neither of which guarantee that you’ll get everyone out safely. In plan A, 200 people will be saved whereas in plan B there’s ⅓ of a chance that 600 people will be saved otherwise no one will be saved.

Now let’s take the same situation except your chief medical advisor gives you the same plan in a different manner. This time you are told that Plan A means that 400 people will die and in Plan B there’s a ⅓ chance that no one will die, otherwise 600 people will die. Did this change your mind? If you’re anything like the respondents that Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman encountered in 1981 then you most likely chose Plan A in the first scenario and Plan B in the second scenario.

This experiment led Tversky and Kahneman to conclude that human beings respond differently to the same set of information depending on how it is presented to us – what is now known as the framing effect.

Evidence based and informed decision making is key for developing relevant and effective strategies and policies, and evidence is often drawn from big data. Many of the most useful data sets contain large amounts of valuable statistics which can be difficult to comprehend in a meaningful way. Data visualization turns complex numbers and other pieces of information into graphs, tables and charts, making the evidence easier to understand and use and enabling decision makers to grasp various concepts and get data-driven insights in order to make evidence-based decisions.
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Source: CGIAR | News