I love data displayed in powerful ways that tell a story. Infographics go viral for good reason: they are easy to process and understand. Most of us value good research, yet don’t know how to read it or use it to our advantage. For example, it is important to know the sample size and if it can be generalized for that population or group.
Insert ZIP Lookup.
Looking to own or rent a home? Move to a new apartment? Get a feel of your new work neighborhood? Writing a report?
Before fall semester for the USC for the Master of Social Work program, we were required to do “community immersion.” We spent 5 days in a particular neighborhood. We contacted and interviewed locals, looked up crime rates, wrote about the residents… and we ultimately presented on our neighborhoods in one of our classes. Why? Cultural competence is a huge component of social work. We need to understand the person before us, yet also all of the systems that impact that person. Are they in a food desert? Can they easily commute to work? Parks and green space? All of this information can help us put together the bigger picture of what may be helping or hindering the person to thrive. If the nearest hospital is hours away and there is no bus route, it may be cause for concern.
That’s why I geek out over this – I love technology and how it can help us be more informed or automate processes that can take us far too long on our own.
Enter a zip code and learn about the top three groups in that area. New families? College town? Culturally diverse? Even some of their habits are generalized, such as how they may use the Internet, what they might watch, and how they relax. Some of these are creepily spot on, yet they are generalizations. Totally could have used this while in school, yet glad I know about it now.