Coloring Communication with Data 2017

11 December 2016

Coloring Communication with Data 2017

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In Georgia, important information is often communicated in stale, unengaging ways such as 30 page long reports, press releases, or articles. Worldwide, media organizations and NGOs are reinventing journalism and storytelling by discovering new models of presenting information using data, design, and technologies.

For the past 3 years, I’ve been working at a local non-governmental organization, JumpStart, which advocates for open data and teaches how data can bring value to your story. During these years, I have seen civil, media, and public organizations in Georgia doing a lot of good work on a number of important issues. All too often, however, the scale of the work is limited and small due to one fact - lack of communication and advocacy. Efforts invested in months and even years of research and analysis end up in the reports, websites, and personal computers that no one will ever read.

Raising awareness regarding this issue is very important.  Sometimes organizations don’t even know how wide their opportunities are in terms of their data. When people see the impact of data-driven storytelling, they are frequently converted into believers. This is why my colleagues and I think that it is time to have something more than just workshops and seminars regarding the importance of data and data driven communication. Something that is hands on and will let you experience the excitement of working with people with diverse skill sets and creative ideas. This is when we thought of a hackathon and its model as one of the most engaging ways of showing how technologies and data can coexist in one's work.

We will host a hackathon at the end of January 2017 as part of our Coloring Communication with Data (CCWD) event series. CCWD was held in 2014 and 2015 and consisted of one-day trainings on how to use data, technology, and design in advocacy and communications. In 2017, the learning process will be more in-depth and hands-on by using existing data from organizations and formulating it into a cohesive and engaging story. The target audience for this hackathon are journalists, researchers, designers, developers, data scientists, communication specialists, and anyone else that is interested.

At JumpStart, we’ve been aware of the positive impact that comes from a diverse set of skilled people working together on various projects. It is time for us to show you, in a very engaging and fun way, what it is like to incorporate data in your everyday work! Come and experience the data storytelling process with us!