I find numbers fascinating and even better when they are put into context with digestible displays. Data visualization is key and people with these skills will be in demand for my lifetime and well beyond.
Two recent experiences with large data sets has been satisfying to me. Unfortunately, both are showing the continual deterioration of the U.S. economy, but from a consumption standpoint, they are very interesting.
1. Heatmap over time of U.S. Unemployment. This is outstanding work, if not completely depressing;
2. If you are interested in the major law firm layoffs, which measure an incredible 14,457 people since January 2008 (5,677 lawyers, 8,780 staff), then Law Shucks is the place to go. Their layoff trackers are great for digesting exactly what is going on and I’ve been told that even better displays are on their way.
Enjoy. Or at least respect the work behind the bad news.