Tech@State

In case you missed last week's Tech@State event on data visualization - a few highlights!

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  1. Last Friday, Tech@State: Data Visualization explored techniques and innovations around the visualization of data. 


    If it sounds uber-nerdy, that's because it was - but in the most delightful and engaging way possible. Participants and speakers ranged from techies to policy wonks, and from non-profit leaders to development experts. It was a great group, and yielded some fascinating presentations, conversations, and ideas...

  2. ... and even a bit of DC humor...
  3. The event opened with Dr. Kerry Jones, Assistant Secretary of State, talking about how data visualization is impacting the U.S. government's work on various topics around the world. 

    She was followed by the brilliant Edward Tufte - professor emeritus at Yale University. Professor Tufte, a pioneer in the field of data visualization, gave a fascinating speech on data, analytical design, and the importance of the visual presentation of information (his speech starts at 14:30)

  4. His major points reverberated across the Twitterverse:
  5. He highlighted the need for presenters (ie. "storytellers") to focus on telling the story in the most compelling way possible. Storytellers need credibility and creativity... 

  6. ... and warned against the production trap we often fall into, by getting caught up in the mode/methods of content production. We should be focused on telling the story. 

  7. He sees data visualization as more than story-telling... it's TRUTH-telling, when done honestly. 
  8. Professor Tufte's presentation was followed by a fascinating panel about data visualization in the international development community. The panel included: 

    Jean-Louis Sarbib, Development Gateway

    Personally, this was my favorite part of the event... especially Aleem's talk on mapping at the World Bank, and the importance of understanding "who does what where" (starts at 12:25)

  9. Many Twitterers in the audience were also loving this panel...

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