In the age of Trump, social movements, artists, cultural workers, non-profits, social service agencies, faith groups, neighborhood associations – you name it! – are recruiting volunteers, clients, followers, and more! like never before. With this influx in people comes an influx in data. But we have a big problem on our hands: the data are NOT alright!
The more I met with activists, teachers and artists in my life, the more I saw a need to help people organize their information so that they can put more time towards social change and less time wrangling spreadsheets. So I did what any self-respecting millennial would do in this situation… I made a facebook post! And I was stunned by the results. People from all different corners of my life responded with resounding interest in learning data skills. It made me think that the one workshop I was dreaming of was never going to cut it, and so I started fantasizing about a blog.
That’s where The Data Are Alright comes in. I believe that we need to democratize access to simple data tools and tricks, like using Excel, managing email lists, and sorting information into meaningful categories. If we can decrease the time we spend untangling messy spreadsheets, we can put more time where it counts: face to face meetings and making beautiful trouble. Because of lack of women in tech, impostor syndrome, and our own commitment to being leftist “underdogs,” we have let data-phobia and tech-phobia undermine our movements and organizations.
I will focus on simple things anyone can learn to increase data literacy and data confidence. Sometimes, I’ll write about more the sophisticated data solutions that I develop at my job. I’ll blog about Excel, Salesforce, data visualization and, by popular demand, Google Sheets (the tool we all love to hate, and hate to love). Finally, I’ll include posts about my own journey in learning new data skills. My goal is to prioritize empowerment, clarity and practicality – and I’ll also keep the tone light. I can’t wait to hear from you about what you want to see from The Data Are Alright!