A Role for Visualization in Understanding Risk

sciencelogoRisk is a difficult concept, in part because of the many ways it is measured.  Interpreting specific numbers can be unintuitive even for people who do it every day, leading to critical decisions being made based on faulty interpretations of evidence.

This is a place where data visualization can play a crucial role.  A recent article in Science makes a similar point, with a graphic example of how to help people understand that even “accurate” medical tests can be misleading.

Motivated by this article, I spent a couple of hours today developing an interactive version of the “Pictograph” chart in the article to let you experiment with different variables.  Click here to try it out!

Sch of Inform and Libr Science