In the first month of the Reviz Project, Matt took the lead and exposed us to the stark issue of gun deaths in America. Other projects have looked at gun homicides alone, but Matt wanted to tell a more complete story. “Once I started to analyze the data, it was clear that suicides were a very serious problem even though the media mostly reports on homicides or mass shootings,” he says. Matt came up with this powerful beginning to the conversation:
I knew I wanted to show the impact, and make the audience FEEL the loss of years to gun deaths, but it was after seeing Matt’s viz that I decide to focus only on suicide. Suicide touched my life back in high school and had a big impact.
I also realized from Matt’s viz that in 2014, suicide accounted for nearly two-thirds of gun deaths, yet we never hear about it or talk about it—certainly not like gun homicides. So I decided to add up all the years that were lost from the moment someone pulled the trigger to when they would have statistically died without the gun. I called that difference “the suicide gap” and you can see the impact below:
Alex took the problem that Matt had identified, and went looking for a data-driven solution. She found it as she looked at the impact of gun laws in each state and compared that to the suicide rate. She highlighted a clear statistical trend that shows gun laws have a clear impact on reducing suicides. See for yourself below:
Alex and I had taken Matt’s work and found new stories to tell. The best part was that the community was up to the challenge as well. We received a number of revizzes during the last week of January, including one from Tableau’s own Ben Jones.
From Matt’s perspective, it was awesome to see how this “led others to ask questions about why there has been an increase in suicides over time," he says. "Is there a correlation with gun laws, is it related to smaller populations, or is it related to gun ownership? These were the questions that the Tableau community was inspired to ask, and since we provided our data, they were able to use data visualization to tell their own stories.”
Now it’s your turn to get involved. Alex is taking the lead for February and she’s got us focused on human trafficking—the stories of lives sold into modern-day slavery. It’s beyond heartbreaking, yet many of us don’t see the effects of this cruel trade. Our goal will be to show that impact.
We’d love for you to join us by downloading the data and telling your own story. Who knows the impact you might have?
For more information on the Reviz Project, visit the project's website and follow the Twitter hashtag #revizproject.