Empowering People with Data

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Tips and Tricks for Creative Data Literacy - Rahul Bhargava @ 2017 UN Data Forum

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  • I'm Rahul Bhargava, I run Data Therapy and created DataBasic with Catherine D'Ignazio
    I'm a researcher (Center for Civic Media and teach at MIT - data storytelling studio)
    I run workshops like this one all over the world - we’ll get hands-on today with these ideas
  • Goals:
    - Shared agreement that data driven processes should be more participatory
    - Inspirational examples of how to make data more participatory
    - Experience with activities to include people in a data process
  • We all probably agree that data is an asset
    can be used to spread the message, optimize operations, and bring people together
  • 1) Token approval from subject, = no awareness for subject
    2) Collected by 3rd parties, for their own purposes= no agency for subject
    3) Analyzed with jargon-heavy digital tools = no understanding for subject
    4) Decisions made by collector or analyzer = no participation for subject
  • With these challenges in mind, how do we do this better?
    That’s the subject of this workshop
    Fun is intrinsic, sexy is extrinsic
  • Lets try a quick activity to see
  • Check your handouts for this data
    Find a partner, grab some materials,
  • With these challenges in mind, how do we do this better?
    That’s the subject of this workshop
  • The inspiratinos we look to matter
    Colored dots on black lines are not accessible
  • There is a richer history that we can pull from, if we look across disciplines, and it uses the power of the arts to engage people
  • One version of a process for going from data to story
    Other people use circles, triangles, etc.
    All these are opportunities to engage people
  • rely on physical mappings to represent the data
    Might recognize this from Hans Rosling’s famous videos with rocks, but this is participatory
    Inspiring because it shows even traditional charts and graphs can work with rural audiences
  • Boston wanted a participatory approach to longer term strategic planning as it pertains to transit
    Collected qualitative data for a few months
    Brought together community to analyze it
  • Educator, innovator, feminist
    Included these visualizations of history in her books
    Grid was a year, color was country, sub-rectangle was type of event
    Drew them on giant fabrics, toured with them, and stood around them and talked about history
  • We created a quite of tools to help bring these inspirations to the digital age
  • Share back afterwards
  • We created a quite of tools to help bring these inspirations to the digital age
  • Hopefully with these inspirations I’ve demonstrate a different approach to including people in data analysis, aligned with bringing people together and spreading the message
    each point is an opportunity
  • We do have some funding coming in to build a NGO-specific entry point to DataBasic,
    In addition to DataBasic, my activities are all online on datatherapy.org
    Hoping for funding to turn these offline activities into a toolkit, or at least write them up better
  • We all probably agree that data is an asset
    can be used to spread the message, optimize operations, and bring people together
  • Checkout datatherapy.org, and databasic.io for more of this type of thing
  • Empowering People with Data

    1. 1. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 2 Empowering People with Data Rahul Bhargava rahulb@mit.edu @rahulbot Tips and Tricks for Creative Data Literacy Research Scientist Civic Media Group - MIT Media Lab www.datatherapy.org www.databasic.io
    2. 2. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 3 Research Scientist MIT Center for Civic Media Civic Media Group, MIT Media Lab Participants sketching a data story Painting a data mural About Me
    3. 3. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 4 This Workshop 1. Introduction 2. A fun “data sculpture” activity 3. Opportunities for engagement around data 4. A “story sketching” activity 5. Conclusion
    4. 4. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 5 Data is an asset… improve operations spread the message bring people together
    5. 5. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 6 …but is it empowering? • Lack of transparency • Extractive collection practices • Technological complexity • Control of impact no awareness for subject no agency for subject no understanding for subject no participation by subject D’Ignazio, C., & Bhargava, R. (2015). Approaches to Building Big Data Literacy. In Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange 2015. New York, NY, USA.
    6. 6. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 7 How do we empower people with data?
    7. 7. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 8 Let’s Make Data Sculptures! • Read your data handout • Find a partner • Grab some craft materials • Make a sculpture that shows something you see in the data Be creative - don’t just make a bar chart out of blocks!
    8. 8. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 9 Let’s Make Data Sculptures! you have 8 minutes
    9. 9. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 10 A Creative Approach to Data Literacy
    10. 10. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 11 Data-dense, visually complex, representations of complex data-driven stories are held up as inspirations. Visual Explanations Edward R. Tufte Tableau Software The Usual Guiding Lights
    11. 11. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 12 Low-tech, arts-based presentations of data-driven stories can be more appropriate for engaging and empowering many types of audiences. A Chronological History of the United States Elizabeth Peabody 1856 A hand-made data visualization A Richer Set of Inspirations
    12. 12. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 13 Opportunities for Engagement Asking questions Gathering data Finding a story Telling your story Trying it out brainstorming hypothesis forming participatory collection analysis collaborative creation evaluation
    13. 13. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 14 Charting crop production and rainfall trends over time Praxis India #1 – Rural Data Analysis Making a radar-cart on the floor Praxis India Praxis India
    14. 14. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 15 Mobile data collection around the city @GoBoston2030 on Twitter #2 – Participatory Analysis in GoBoston2030 Participatory analysis at an Imagine Boston community workshop @ImagineBoston on Twitter Interaction Institute for Social Change
    15. 15. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 16 Participants sketching mural design ideas #3 – A Data Mural in Brazil Painting the mural Rahul and Emily Bhargava, Secretary of Minas Gerais, Brazil Bhargava, R., Kadouaki, R., Bhargava, E., Castro, G., & D’Ignazio, C. (2016). Data Murals: Using the Arts to Build Data Literacy. The Journal of Community Informatics, 12(3).
    16. 16. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 17 A Chronological History of the United States Elizabeth Peabody - 1856 #4 – The Fabric of History Elizabeth Peabody Library of Congress Elizabeth Peabody
    17. 17. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 18 Sketching a Story
    18. 18. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 19 DataBasic.io A suite of tools and activities for learning to work with data
    19. 19. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 20 wordcounter.databasic.io
    20. 20. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 21 A word cloud of results Word Counter Results Downloadable lists of the most common word and phrases
    21. 21. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 22 Let’s Sketch a Story! • Make a team of 3 or 4 people • Visit wordcounter.databasic.io & pick a sample dataset • Find a quick story to you think is interesting • Grab paper, markers, and sketch out your story visually you have 15 minutes Be creative and have fun!
    22. 22. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 23 We Can Use Data To Empower
    23. 23. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 24 Fun > Sexy Self-defined Self-motivated Substantive Fake-able Fun ✔ ✔ ✔ ❌ Sexy ? ❌ ❌ ✔
    24. 24. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 25 Opportunities for Engagement Asking questions Gathering data Finding a story Telling your story Trying it out brainstorming hypothesis forming participatory collection analysis collaborative creation evaluation This builds cross-sector trust!
    25. 25. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 26 datatherapy.org Quick summaries available Still looking for funding to develop a toolkit More Activities on datatherapy.org
    26. 26. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 27 Use Your Data Assets Wisely improve operations spread the message bring people together
    27. 27. Empowering People with Data UN Word Data Form 1/17/2017 Rahul Bhargava Research Scientist @rahulbot 28 Empowering People with Data Rahul Bhargava rahulb@mit.edu @rahulbot Tips and Tricks for Creative Data Literacy Research Scientist Civic Media Group - MIT Media Lab www.datatherapy.org www.databasic.io

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