The Data Matters blog is one year old. What a year’s it’s been, with so many perspectives on data presented. But presentation is a one-way conversation. What this blog really aims to do is to encourage every reader to actively engage with the data around them, and each other, to get the most value out of this unique asset. As the data message spreads across the County, one aspect seems to really resonate with almost everyone – data visualization. Data visualization at its simplest is taking an Excel spreadsheet and turning it into a bar chart – many of us have been doing this for years. Today’s data visualization offers many more tools than pie and bar charts, and perhaps most importantly, allows you to interact with your data any time. For example, if you produce a report listing how many services provided annually and you are asked how many services were provided by a particular team, your report might not have that. Data visualizations allow you to show a graphic and then pick which data elements appear in the graphic. You could take the same services report and look at the data quarterly or monthly, by division or individual, by category of service, by where the service was provided. And the best part is that it’s really not that hard to do and there’s a really great tool available for FREE. Microsoft’s PowerBI can be installed on your computer for free and in a few minutes, you can pull in a spreadsheet and present an insightful graphic. Try it today … and tomorrow!