The Observatory: Designing Data-Driven Decision Making Tools

Simoes, A. "The Observatory: Designing Data�__ѐDriven Decision Making Tools"


Creative usages of graphics to encode information date back to at least the beginnings of the industrial revolution. It is also around that same time that a gap between the wealthiest of nations and least begins to develop. How can we use techniques of visualization complimented with vast sums of data to provide a lens by which we may understand economic development?

The amount of computing power and data available at our fingertips is increasing everyday. This thesis will introduce The Observatory as a tool that combines big data with interactive visualizations as a means for discerning the patterns found in economic development over the past 50 years. The tool draws on influences from other interactive visualization tools as well as theory and literature from the field of complexity economics. The impact of this tool has already begun to emerge with its proliferation online and usage by experts in the field of development economics.

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