Tapestry: Weaving Stories and Data

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - How can we make sense of the data that inundates our lives? On Feb. 27, about 100 journalists, researchers, and data geeks gathered to share their thoughts on the nascent field of data storytelling.


  1. The inaugural conference took place in a 19th-century train station-turned-hotel, a fitting backdrop for conversations that crossed disciplines and industries.
  2. The event kicked off with a Tableau visualization of who came and where they came from. Attendees represented journalism, academia, software development, business, design, nonprofits, and government. 
  3. 2013 Tapestry Attendee Dashboard- find out who came, what they do & where they're from #tapestryconf
    2013 Tapestry Attendee Dashboard- find out who came, what they do & where they're from #tapestryconf
  4. In the day's first keynote, Jonathan Corum, science graphics editor at the New York Times, walked the audience through his data storytelling process, from the data to the graphic, with a focus on who he creates for and what he aims to convey.
  5. Jonathan Corum at Tapestry
    Jonathan Corum at Tapestry
  6. Corum posted the complete presentation online, and 10,000 words published a synopsis.
  7. Pat Hanrahan, Tableau co-founder and Stanford professor, brought algorithms to life and explained why visualization tells only half the story.
  8. Pat Hanrahan at Tapestry
    Pat Hanrahan at Tapestry
  9. It brought the math-averse a bit beyond their comfort zone.
  10. The group then heard an exciting announcement; data storytelling with the Census is about to get a lot easier.
  11. Cheryl Phillips, data enterprise editor at the Seattle Times, described what is and isn't data storytelling in the context of journalism.
  12. Cheryl Philips at Tapestry
    Cheryl Philips at Tapestry
  13. Cheryl posted her presentation online.