Data has parents. Someone decides what are and what are not assists during a basketball game, tallying them from the sidelines. Headlines about the number of people who have died from Ebola probably began with an aid worker counting cases. Understanding a stat means exploring its origin story.
The Collectors, a series of 10 short documentaries from FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films, tells these stories. The films profile passionate people scrounging for information to save the world’s bees or find the formula for funny.
Episodes available here: