Welcome to visualidity.com, my personal site for telling interesting data-driven stories. I'm Ken Cherven, a data analyst and visualizer based in Detroit, Michigan USA, and I intend to use this platform to create interesting content covering the worlds of politics, economics, and social issues, with an occasional digression into the realms of sports, music, beer, wine, and any other topics I find interesting.

Visualidity is a wordoid merging the words visual and validity, two terms that encapsulate my intentions for the site. All stories will have a strong visual orientation, often through the use of data-driven charts and interactive visual elements. Each story will also be heavily dependent on factual data, with all sources identified within the content. My goal here is twofold: Create the best charts and visuals that will help convey the meaning of the data within the context of the story, and drive conversations based on accurate, verifiable information. Both of these elements are in rather short supply in today's world where sloppy journalistic practices and innumeracy (mathematical illiteracy) prevail. Many of the stories will use network graphs, as can be seen in some of the site images. These graphs are essential in illustrating the connections between individuals, organizations, or other entities, and will be relied on frequently to tell a story.

So what are my goals for the site?

  1. As a libertarian, I seek to reveal how politics and politicians actually operate, using real data collected by both private organizations and government sources. Politicians of all flavors (left, right, Democrat, Republican, national, local, and so on) will be judged by the same criteria.
  2. As a data analyst for more than 20 years, I intend to test many of the popular social mantras of the day by applying real data to the equation. I grow weary of many of the factually dubious social causes that dominate the airwaves and the web on a daily basis. It's far past time to show that many of these movements are the modern equivalent of the emperor's new clothes. As always, we'll go where the data leads.
  3. I hope this site ultimately becomes an antidote to the likes of CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and all the other mainstream sources that rely primarily on political hacks and uninformed talking heads. Data will be what drives the narratives on this site, and it will be treated with respect and without bias.
  4. Finally, as a visualizer, I am seeking to tell these stories in a way that makes them interesting and perhaps even entertaining, without ever compromising the message revealed by the data. To do this, I will tap into many of the great open source tools available, including Gephi, d3, NVD3, R, RapidMiner, and Orange for starters.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you enjoy the site.