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Susan's piece has an impact due to the subject matter, but that impact is without a doubt heightened by current events. It certainly brings up several follow-up questions for me, and I'm guessing it does for you as well.
What other data sources are available that could enhance this topic and provide more clarity? What could local data tell me about my region, and would that mesh with my own experience? Does diving into this impact my perspective in a meaningful way?
This discussion is likely to bring up a mix of emotions within the community, and I look forward to respectful engagement and hearing your thoughts around what this says to you as both a data professional and as an individual.
Will Machin Community Management Team Lead Alteryx
Thanks for starting the discussion Will, this is a very important topic and Susan's article is very welcome.
Data is a great leveller in times of crisis, I've been reminded recently of Daniel Moynihan's famous quote: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts". Data can help surface those facts and ensure that the discussions and conversations we have are properly grounded. I think everyone here as a data analyst can talk to the power of data in these discussions.
Clearly one thing to be conscious of as people use the resources in Susan's article is to ensure we are treating the data and discussions with fairness. There are several things we can and should do:
1. We need to amplify the voices of Black designers and analysts but it is a conversation for everyone to take part in
2. If you're building resources / datasets / visualisations, we need seek feedback and involve Black friends and colleagues, but be respectful of their time and efforts, particularly at such a sensitive time.
3. Be clear on your intentions, are you sharing information or looking to enable action? Offer clear and tangible actions people can take to learn more and make change.
4. Be ruthlessly objective, do your sources have bias? Act like a data journalist and question everything.
I'd love to know what plans people in this community have for analysing this topic, what other resources there are people have found and how we can collaborate to make a difference. I'd love the Alteryx community to lead the way here.
Clearly, though it's a very difficult topic, with much of the data being nuanced and with implicit bias included already, we aren't going to solve everything overnight, but this is an important time in history and we should look to grab it with both hands to capitalise on the movement and strength of feeling.
Personally I'm looking at educating myself, I'm by no means perfect and so am looking at reading a lot and starting with some very simple sets of analysis and questions. I'll share these as I make progress.
In the meantime I'd love to see more participation on the topic, and also hear some from some of the Black voices in our community.
Thanks Aaron, really grateful for you spending your time pulling these out.
Personally I've been focussed firstly on educating myself, I watched 13th last night on Netflix which was really eye-opening, especially as someone outside the US. I'm also using the WSJ dataset on police killings to do some initial work and look at some of the statistics, but these supplemental datasets will be really useful as I dive further into the data available..
Similar to Chris, I've been working to educate myself and listen. As a small step, the latest podcast episode is focused on highlighting Black voices in tech. I kept the episode short so that subscribers can instead use that time to support these voices and engage in the resources they provided.
@chris_love made a great point yesterday in saying: "4. Be ruthlessly objective, do your sources have bias? Act like a data journalist and question everything."
One more set of resources I just learned about: The latest Data is Plural email newsletter had a link to this Reddit thread discussing the sources and creation of this map of BLM protests/vigils around the world. There are additional relevant datasets linked and described in their newsletter archive.