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Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale was a compassionate nurse and an effective social reformer. She was also a brilliant statistician, which was recognised with her election to the Royal Statistical Society in 1858.

During the Crimean War, she applied her data skills (while on a nursing assignment) to collect evidence which later proved that more soldiers died from preventable diseases caused by unsanitary healthcare than as a result of battlefield wounds. She also implemented reforms in the army hospital hygiene and sanitation which resulted in a dramatic decline in death rates during the war.

Florence Nightingale was a persuasive communicator and on her return from the war, she pioneered the use of infographics. She used her famous ‘Rose Diagram’ to challenge the sceptical medical, military and political establishment and was able to convince them that improved hygiene led to higher survival rates. This lead to the establishment of the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army, in 1857.

Florence Nightingale had a clear vision of what modern healthcare should look like and was able to implement many reforms due to her passion and strong work ethic, strong data and analytical skills, as well as excellent communication and collaboration skills - all of which make her a fitting inspiration for any digital problem solver!

I never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.