Data-Driven Storytelling

“Today, the world is awash in unprecedented amounts of data and an expanding network of sources for stories and news. The open question is not whether data, computers, and algorithms can be used for data-driven storytelling, but rather how, when, where, why, and by whom.”

Many datasets tell a story, but tools don’t know what the story is. Here it takes a person – and analyst or communicator of information – to bring the story visually and contextually to life. This process is the focus of this course. Hopefully, what you will learn will enable you to shift from simply showing data to storytelling with data.

This is a graduate-level advanced course on the concepts and principles of data-driven storytelling, specifically focusing on data management, exploratory data analysis and information visualization, i.e., gathering, cleaning, organizing, analyzing, visualizing, and publishing data in the context of storytelling. The course will take a case study approach in which students explore specific challenges/cases and work towards their own project narrative, e.g., Natural disasters, travel, politics, refugee crisis, terrorism, etc. This course provides students with specific knowledge in computer and information science as related to data management, data analytics and data visualization. As part of this process, students will also obtain general skills like how to find datasets, present their findings in well-prepared PowerPoint presentations, write down their findings in an essay (article), and contribute to and lead focused discussions.

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