Last time I told you about the overarching trends in the Donor Register; the fact its growth has flatlined, that women outnumber men, the best represented region is Scotland and most people join via the DVLA. In this post I thought I might tell you about the less obvious and harder-to-detect trends, which came to light via judicious use of pivot tables.
So to paraphrase Loyd Grossman I’ve deliberated, cogitated and digested my donor data and thought I’d share some of the big themes and patterns I’ve noticed.
First, with its current total standing at 18.45m members, the register has grown massively since its computerised and centralised debut in 1994 – in that year it had just 104k signees.
Since I last posted, I’ve been immersed in donor data – trying to tease out some interesting trends and perhaps, more importantly, attempting to find out what’s behind them.
I have data going right back to the computerised register’s inception in 1994. And without too much investigation, I can see that take-up has massively plateaued in the last three or four years; a huge peak in the mid-90s has calmed to a mere undulation, even with extra publicity for the register and the mushrooming of joining methods.
In the last post I introduced you to my data project on the organ donor register – and since then, the topic has cropped up again in the news agenda. Via a Google Alert, I electonically stumbled across an impassioned campaign by the Glasgow Evening Times to change Scottish donation laws so consent is presumed unless a person specifically opts out. The paper has accompanied its vociferous championing with a series of stirring case-study pieces.
Which brings me back to my data.
Data journalism is all about pure facts and figures but you need a vested emotional interest in the information in order to bring it alive. For various reasons, the donor register is something I’ve been curious about for a while. Not so much its existence per se, but rather the profile of who is – and who isn’t – on it.
I’m just about to embark on a data project based on the register and will be doing a series of posts. I thought I’d kick off this entry by talking a little about why I chose this topic and what I hope to gain.