Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anyone else sick of Hans?

Left-leaning presentation? Check.
Presenting at the uber-cool TED conference? Check.
Funky Scandanavian accent? Check.
Ugly glasses? Check.

Hans Roslings' charts on gdp vs. lifespan and carbon emissions vs per capita gdp are everywhere. Walk into Google's Mountain View campus and the flash application ins on a screen. Garr Reynolds loves the guy. Another consultant called his presentations Porn for Consultants.

I don't get it. Yes it's 5 dimensions of data (time, life span, per capita income, region, population size). Yes it has cool colors. Yes it shows that the US is greedy.

But he puts out two of these charts in 2 years and everyone falls all over themselves thinking he's a genius.

I've got to create a couple of these every 6 weeks, shown on printed paper, with incomplete or garbled data sources. GDP per year? I'd love to graph data like that. Try figuring out a company's last 10 year's of overhead costs:
- Adjust for accounting change
- Adjust for computer system change
- Adjust for acquisition
- Adjust for improperly allocated overhead
- Adjust for restated 10Ks
- Adjust because Susan in accounting can't pull the data that way
- Assume because Frank doesn't feel comfortable giving those reports to the consultants

GDP vs life expectancy and size for population? Hell, I'd give that to an analyst and expect it back in the afternoon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hans is nothing less than a 'cute' European anti-American neo-socialist. The conclusions and anecdotes he draws from his reading of the 'cute' animated data --- are not always valid.

Typical darling of the Lefty tech-y crowd.

-Varangy

Tuesday, March 18, 2008