Posted by: structureofnews | May 9, 2011

The Joy of Stats

Swedish academic.  Hour-long documentary on numbers.  Sounds like the punchline to a bad joke.  Or at least hard work.  But The Joy of Stats is a funny, watchable and fast-paced look at the role and value of data in our lives.

Narrated and fronted by Hans Rosling, a Swedish medical doctor, statistician and co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation – not to mention great public speaker – the show takes us through the history of statistics and into the future of data, from the first steps in aggregating data to how massive computing power is using statistics to turn out language translations on the fly.  It’s smart, hilarious at points, and uses great visualizations – as does Gapminder – that set a standard for making numbers understandable quickly and easily.

Here’s a sample:

It proves there’s nothing boring about statistics – even better, it can help turn on people to the notion that there’s lots to be gained by understanding and digging through statistics.   Check it out.


  1. He’s one of my favorite TED speakers, and the first one to introduce me to infographics.

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