On “preliminary” findings / by Benjamin Woo

As my weekly project updates are getting deeper and deeper into the data set, I thought it might be a good idea to say a few things about what it means that these are preliminary analyses of raw data. I just want to put up two flags for you to keep in mind when you read them – one is a caveat and the other a sort of promissory note:

  • First, and most obviously, the picture I’m painting of work in comics will change as more – and more different – people complete the survey. Indeed, a major reason why I’ve been blogging these updates has been as a bit of a provocation. If you make comics and your experiences don’t look like this, there’s an easy fix: take the survey and share it with your peers.
  • Second, this is only the most surface level of descriptive analysis, summarizing the responses to individual questions. The really interesting stuff will be examining how the various items interact – for example, can we identify what factors influence how much money people make from their creative practice or how happy people are in their jobs? However, this level of analysis requires the data set to be "cleaned" and processed, which is a labour-intensive process I can’t undertake until the survey is closed and all the responses are in. Once I’ve done that, however, I’ll be able to really drill down into the data and (I hope!) say some interesting things about what it’s like to make comics today.