Introducing The Data City

OWNER: KPMG

Since our first work in 2015 we’ve been talking with our users and listening to what they want. The three biggest asks we get are.

  • Simple. Three visuals with the biggest messages beats thirty visuals with every message, every time. Our users always asks us to focus on simplicity above volume.
  • Powerful. The potential to access raw data and ask new questions is valued. Most of the time it won’t be used, but it should be possible.
  • Always on. Our users don’t want reports. They’re too long, and they’re out of date by the time they read them.

This is why we build simple, small, powerful tools powered by data that is accessible to people who want to look more deeply. We answer specific questions that users ask, and we keep on giving them the answer in as simple a way as possible, powered by data that improves all the time.

Simplicity is hard. It takes attention to detail in design and a willingness to throw away good work that’s not quite good enough. It’s also very hard to define and judge, but we’ll know we’ve failed if we ever produce a report with a figure like this in it.

The 138 page International comparative performance of the UK research base, 2016 is fantastic, but it’s not the kind of thing we’ll be emulating. Especially not this figure.

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