Prescribing Analytics got an awful lot of positive press coverage over the last few weeks.

It’s very exciting to see something we’ve made be covered so extensively – it was on the front page of the Independent, on the PM programme on Radio 4 (47 mins in), the Economist, the FT, and even in the Revolution Analytics R blog as well as various medical and pharma blogs.

It’s been interesting the different ways this piece of work has been interpreted by different journalists. In the text on the site, and when being interviewed, we were very careful to emphasise the context of the data and that NHS prescribing advisers already do a lot of work on this issue. Most of the responses we had seemed to understand this very well, and it’s been great to see how many NHS employees have been in touch both to say that they enjoy it and to suggest future developments that would be helpful. We did get a few sensational headlines, but most of the coverage was brilliantly balanced, with Radio 4 and the Economist being especially impressive in the care they took to ensure they portrayed the issue fairly.

Anyway, the amount of value that this small project has been able to create makes it pretty clear that there’s a lot more to be done with public health data. It also makes me realise that people loooove maps as a data visualisation. Lesson for every project there, fit in a map if you can – it’s fun and interesting to play with, and people pay much more attention to the resulting data as a result.

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