Building on Darrel’s comments from yesterday (You Too Can Be Masterful at Analyzing Data), I’m intrigued by the idea of analytical whitespace. I recently came across Mark Boulton’s piece in A List Apart on Whitespace (via Zen Habits) and was struck by similarities to Darrel’s comments.
As smart people who live with data, we need the space and time to step away and breath. I call it analytical whitespace – and it should drive how we approach any question. As we emerge from the sea of information, photos, reports, and observations, we must take the time to step back, breathe, and refocus. As others have noted (and I’m borrowing liberally from the Zen Habits piece here), whitespace offers:
- greater legibility
- feeling of luxury (which I’d translate to freedom & openness in our context)
- breathing room & balance
- more emphasis
Without this room, we’re little more than in-field note takers, relaying only what we saw and heard. I love this admonition to remember to stop and breathe… even in the midst of busy schedules!