Urban Institute - Do No Harm Guide: Applying Equity Awareness in Data Visualization

Do No Harm cover. Dark blue.

This guide and the associated checklists and toolkits focus on the often hidden or subtle ways that data analysts and communicators fail to incorporate equitable awareness in the data they use and the products they create. Some data and data visualizations, however, are overtly racist and discriminatory.

In this guide, we explore ways to help data scientists, researchers, and data communicators take a more purposeful DEI approach to their work. To do so, we conducted more than a dozen interviews with nearly 20 people about their experiences and approaches to being more inclusive with their data exploration, analysis, and communication. Our interviewees included data journalists in major media outlets, researchers at universities and colleges, and people working in the public and private sectors. Our long (and growing) list of people we would have liked to speak with for this project indicates how the work of creating diverse and inclusive products in the data and data visualization areas will continue to grow. We also take a broad view of the “data community” to include anyone working with and communicating data: researchers, scholars, data analysts and scientists, journalists, web developers, data visualization specialists, and more.