Boston University Storytelling With Data Workshop

Welcome to Storytelling with Data at Boston University. Our second annual Summer Workshop was a resounding success, attended by working professionals from law, government, science, higher education, sales, finance, health care, human resources and much more. Over the course of a week, our 90+ trainees learned how to master seven core skills needed to tell compelling data stories.

Summer registration is open. Seats are limited so register today.

Register

Why Data Storytelling

Talk Bubbles

Data fluency is a required skill set in today's digital workplace. The key to success is finding the meaning in every dataset, no matter how large or small.

Magnifying Glass

Our intensive Storytelling with Data Winter Bootcamp is designed to arm you with a practical, ready-to-go toolbox of tips, techniques and tricks to become a master data storyteller - no matter your profession or skill level.

Computer Graph

Interpreting and presenting today's massive amounts of digitized professional and personal information requires storytelling skills. Those skills are far more sophisticated than looking at a prepared dataset and creating an infographic; excellent data storytellers must go much deeper and wider to unearth the powerful story hidden within.

Dot chart

Learn to leverage data to more effectively persuade your audience, win a critical argument, tap into key funding sources, edge out the competition for new business and inform and educate your employees, clients, customers and shareholders.

What You Will Learn

Skills
  • Collect and analyze data to convince donors to open their wallets
  • Showcase key data in a proposal for a grant or other funding
  • Incorporate persuasive data findings in a jury presentation
  • Increase audience engagement by including compelling data in speeches and social media
  • Build stakeholder buy-in and brand advocacy with data-rich communications
  • Identify the most persuasive statistics to secure a legal victory
  • Extract social media data and create outstanding data visualizations to convey a trend or fact-based conclusion

Workshop Basics

Two learning tracks

  • One tailored to the beginner
  • The second to the intermediate data analyst

New Tech and Tools

  • Free demonstrations and showcase panels featuring the hottest data storytelling technology and techniques

A New Focus on Storytelling with "R"

  • For those who’ve become skilled in spreadsheets and databases, the workshop will offer an intermediate track with hands-on sessions using the open source R program for statistical analysis. R has become one of the most popular tools in the burgeoning data science filed. The workshop will take you from an R novice to a level where you can continue to build your R skills at your own pace.
Storytelling with Data Students

Instructors

Our teaching roster for Winter 2016. Our summer teaching roster will be announced soon.

Narrative Story Experts

Maggie Mulvihill Workshop Founder & Director

Data journalist & Boston University journalism professor

Rochelle Sharpe

Pulitzer-prize winning data journalist & Boston University adjunct professor

Data Scientists & Statistics Specialists

Matt Carroll

Research Scientist, Future of News Initiative, MIT Media Lab

Tom Hohenstein

Research Data Management Librarian at the BU Libraries

Andy Eschbacher

Scientist, CartoDB Research and Data Team

Santiago Anduaga

Interdisciplinary Creative Design Professional

Data Journalism Experts

Catherine Cloutier

Data producer, Boston Globe

Alex Salkever

Head of Marketing and Business Development at Silk.co

David Donald

Data Editor, Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University; Data Journalist in Residence, American University School of Communication

Sydney Lupkin

Reporter, VICE News & MedPage Today

Schedule

Here's how you'll spend your time

Schedule

Daily Breakdown (sample from Winter 2016)

9:00 – 10:15 am Introductions & Overview
With: Maggie Mulvihill & David Donald
For: All students
Where: Room 317

10:15 - 10:30 am Break

10:30 am – 12:30 pm So Much Data: Finding High-Value Records for Your Project
With: Doug Haddix & Maggie Mulvihill
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Microsoft Excel, CometDocs, Import.io, Outwit-Hub Firefox Add-On

12:30 – 1:30 pm Pizza Lunch and Narrative Data Storytelling Writing Practice Exercises
With: John Ellement & Beverly Ford
For: all students
Where: Room 209
Software & Web Tools Microsoft Excel, Google Docs

1:30 – 3:00 pm Extracting Reliable Data from Social Media: The Latest Tools to Mine Social Media
With: Maggie Mulvihill
For: the novice social media user
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: all web-based

Advanced Social Media Mining
With: Doug Haddix
For: experienced social media users
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: all web-based

3:00 - 3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 4:45 pm
with 10-minute break
Stats 101: Finding the Statistical Significance in Your Data
With: Wayne Snyder
For: students with little to no statistics background
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Microsoft Excel

An Overview of Statistics and Storytelling with R
With: David Donald & Haviland Wright
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis.
Where: Room 321
Sofware & Web Tools: R and R Studio

4:45 - 5:00 pm Evaluations
Where: Room 317

9:00 – 10:30 am Scraping Data from the Web: Free Resources for Storytellers
With: Sydney Lupkin
For: students with no scraping or computer programming experience
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Tabula, CometDocs, Import.io, Google Sheets

Scraping the Web with R
With: Haviland Wright
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis.
*Pre-registration for Data Storytelling with R required
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: R and R Studio

10:30 - 10:45 am Break

10:45 am – 12:30 pm Spreadsheets 101: The Key Steps to Begin Data Processing for Stories
With: Sydney Lupkin
For: the novice spreadsheet user
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Microsoft Excel

Coding in R: The basics and best practices
With: David Donald
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis.
*Pre-registration for Data Storytelling with R required
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: R and R Studio

12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch on your own

1:30 – 3:00 pm Advancing with Spreadsheets: Taking Your Data-Analysis Further with Pivot Tables and String Functions
With: Tom Hohenstein
For: the student with basic spreadsheet experience
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: Microsoft Excel, Node XL

Beginning Data Analysis in R and Installing R Packages
With: David Donald
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis
*Pre-registration for Data Storytelling with R required
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: R and R Studio

3:00 - 3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm Working with Dirty Data: Time-Saving Tips and Tricks for the Novice and the Experienced Data Analyst
With: Doug Haddix
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: http://openrefine.org/, Microsoft Excel

4:15 – 4:45 pm Practice what you’ve learned: Putting Your New Data Mining Skills to Work
With: Workshop Faculty and Student Coaches
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: All

4:45 - 5:00 pm Evaluations
Where: Room 317

9:00 – 10:30 am Linear and Logistic Regression: Key Concepts for Finding Stories in Your Data
With: Haviland Wright
For: All students
* we'll do in-class exercises for every learning level
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: R and R Studio

10:30 - 10:45 am Break

10:45 am – 12:30 pm Getting Started with Structured Query Language
With: Daniel Lathrop
For: students with little to no programming language experience
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: SQL Lite Firefox add-on

Data Storytelling with Regression in R
With: David Donald
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis
* Pre-registration for Data Storytelling with R required
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: R and R Studio

12:30 – 1:30 pm Instructors will hold a SQL Q&A Storytelling Session over lunch for students who want to attend
With: Workshop Faculty and Student Coaches
Where: Room 209
Software & Web Tools: SQL Lite Firefox add-on

1:30 – 3:00 pm Visualization as Analysis: Quick and Reliable Data Analytics with Tableau Public
With: Workshop Faculty and Student Coaches
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Tableau Public

3:00 - 3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm Advancing with Visual Analytics: Key (Free) Programs to Dissect Your Data
With: Daniel Lathrop
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Plotly, Google Public Data Explorer, Overview, Document Cloud

4:15 – 4:45 pm What Have I Learned So Far? In-Class Quiz to Test Your New Data Skills
With: Workshop Faculty and Student Coaches
For: All students
Where: Room 209
Software & Web Tools: SQL Lite Firefox add-on

4:45 - 5:00 pm Evaluations
Where: Room 317

9:00 – 10:30 am Visual Storytelling with Data: The Fundamentals
With: Wayne Snyder
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Microsoft Excel

10:30 - 10:45 am Break

10:45 am – 12:30 pm Working With Silk: Adding Value to Your Story with Understandable Data Graphics
With: Alex Salkever
For: students with little to no data visualization experience
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools Silk

Visualizing Data with R: Histograms, Scatterplots and 3D Graphs
With: Haviland Wright
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis
* Pre-registration for Data Storytelling with R required
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: R and R Studio

12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch On Your Own

1:30 – 3:00 pm Mapping Bootcamp 101
With: Andy Eschbacher and Giraldo Anduaga
For: students who have never made a map with data
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: CartoDB

Statistical Mapping with R
With: David Donald
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis
* Pre-registration for Data Storytelling with R required
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: R and R Studio

3:00 - 3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm Data Stories With Interactive Timelines
With: Katie Cloutier
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: All web-based

Visualize it in 60 Minutes or Less: Tell us a Story with Your Data
* Students will use data they are currently working with or need to work with practice their visual storytelling skills
With: Workshop Faculty and Data Storytelling Coaches
For: All students

4:15 – 4:45 pm Visualize It In 30 Minutes Or Less: Tell Us A Story With Your Data
Using the visualization tools learned so far, studens will work on a data pictorial they created to submit to tomorrow's Data Storytelling contest; judges from the news and information design industries will award prizes to the top three storytellers!
With: Workshop Faculty and Storytelling Coaches
For: All students
Where: Room 317

4:45 - 5:00 pm Evaluations
Where: Room 317

9:00 – 10:30 am Framing the Narrative: How Data Forms Your Storyline
With: Rochelle Sharpe
For: All students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Microsoft Excel

10:30 - 10:45 am Break

10:45 am – 12:30 pm Data Verification: Cross-Checking Your Findings to Ensure Accuracy and Avoid Pitfalls
With: Rochelle Sharpe
For: Al students
Where: Room 317
Software & Web Tools: Microsoft Excel

12:30 – 1:30 pm Data + Narrative: Lessons from the Trenches
Catered lunch with Matt Carroll
For: All students Where: Room 209

1:30 – 2:45 pm Data + Narrative Storytelling Contest
* Local book authors and journalists will award prizes to the top three winners and top three most improved data storytellers of the week! Refreshments served!
For: All students
Where: Room 317

2:45 - 3:15 pm Final Wrap-Up and Evaluations
For: All students
Where: Room 317

Special Workshop: Numbers in the Narrative

Announcing our newest workshops designed precisely for the political data storyteller – one who needs to cut through the noise in today’s data-soaked political landscape and find the story that is accurate, timely and compelling. Over the course of two intensive hands-on training days, you’ll develop a core set of data-driven political storytelling skills ranging from learning to identify the latest high-value data to using cutting-edge digital storytelling platforms. You’ll come away with a powerful toolkit of skills to sway your audience, make informed voting decisions, set fair policies, persuade donors, uncover falsehoods, visualize research and much more.

Taught by experts drawn from the fields of investigative journalism, statistics, computer science, design, computer science and non-profit political watchdogging, our workshop will propel you quickly from educated consumer of computational politics to master political data storyteller. Please join us June 3- 4 at Boston University’s College of Communication as we kick off our inaugural workshop with our partner, the nation's premier organization tracking money in U.S. politics, The Center for Responsive Politics. Arm yourself with the power that comes from telling a political story based on cutting-edge data and told with accuracy, precision and thoroughness.

Daily Breakdown

9:00 – 10:15 am Introductions & Overview
With: Maggie Mulvihill, Haviland Wright, Viveca Novak and Sarah Bryner
For: All students
Where: Room 101

10:15 - 10:30 am Break

10:30 am – 12:30 pm So Much Data: Finding High-Value Records for Your Political Data Project
With: Sarah Bryner
For: All students
Where: Room 101

12:30 – 1:30 pm Optional Working Lunch: Liberating Political Data Locked in PDFs
With: Maggie Mulvihill
For: Students needing PDF conversion training
Where: Room 210
Software & Web Tools Cometdocs and Import.io

1:30 – 3:00 pm Extracting Reliable Political Data from Social Media: The Latest Tools to Mine Social Media
With: Workshop staff
For: the novice social media user
Where: Room 209 / 215
Software & Web Tools: all web-based

Advanced Social Media Mining for Political Stories
With: Workshop staff
For: experienced social media users
Where: Room 209
Software & Web Tools: all web-based

3:00 - 3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm Scraping Political Data from teh Web: Free Resources for Storytellers
With: Maggie Mulvihill
For: students with little or no scraping or computer programming background
Where: Room 210

4:15 – 4:45 pm Writing Basics: Telling a Clear Political Story
With: David Donald & Haviland Wright
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis.
Where: Room 209

4:45 - 5:00 pm Evaluations

5:15 - 8:00 pm Political Happy Hour at Scoozi: A Welcome Reception

9:00 – 10:30 am Working with Dirty Political Data: Time-Saving Tips and Tricks for the Novice and the Experienced Data Analyst
With: Maggie Mulvihill
For: students with no scraping or computer programming experience
Where: Room 209/215
Software and Web Tools: Open Refine (free) and Microsoft Excel

Advanced Cleaning: Getting the Dirt Out of Political Data
With: Workshop Staff
For: the student with some database and programming experience
Where: Room 209

10:30 - 10:45 am Break

10:45 am – 12:30 pm The Power of the Spreadsheet: Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Getting the Most out of Political Data
With: Workshop Staff
For: The novice spreadsheet user
Where: Room 209/215
Software and Web Tools: Microsoft Excel

Advancing with Spreadsheets: Taking Your Data-Analysis Further with Pivot Tables, String Functions, NodeXL and Free Plug-ins
With: Maggie Mulvihill
For: The student with basic spreadsheet experience
Where: Room 209/215
Software and Web Tools: Libre Office

12:30 – 1:30 pm Catered Lunch with Bob Biersack, former data analyst for Federal Election Commission, Senior Fellow, Center for Responsive Politics
For: All students
Where: Room 209

1:30 – 3:00 pm Stats 101: Visualization and Analysis
With: Haviland Wright
For: The beginner data visualization student
Where: Room 209

Advanced Statistical Visualization for Political Stories
With: Workshop staff
For: Students who have experience with data visualization techniques
Where: Room 321
Software & Web Tools: Qlik, Vennage, CartoDB, TimelineJS, Plot.ly, Silk

3:00 - 3:15 pm Break

3:15 – 4:15 pm Presenting the Data-Driven Political Story: Time-tested Strategies for Policy and Election Projects
With: Viveca Novak
For: All students
Where: Room 209

4:15 – 4:45 pm Practice What You've Learned: Putting Your New Data Storytelling Skills to Work
With: Workshop staff
For: the student with data skills wanting to learn R programming and analysis.
Where: Room 209
We will have a Data Storytelling contest for Best Political Story of the Workshop with great prizes! Refreshments served.

4:45 - 5:00 pm Evaluations

Registration

Storytelling with Data: Understanding the Workshop

Registration for the Summer 2016 sessions are open.

Workshop Rates
Storytelling with Data
Professionals $1350
Students $650
Narrative in the Numbers
Professionals $950 Early Bird / $1050
Students $650

Register Now

Hotel

We have secured preferred rates for workshop attendees at the following hotel:

Residence Inn Boston Back Bay/Fenway

  • Rate: $339 USD per night
  • Check-in: 6/3/16
  • Check-out: 6/5/16
  • Book by 5/6/16

Book now

  • Rate: $309 USD per night
  • Check-in: 6/6/16
  • Check-out: 6/10/16
  • Book by 4/21/16

Book now

  • Rate: $379 USD per night
  • Check-in: 6/13/16
  • Check-out: 6/17/16
  • Book by 4/28/16

Book now

Your first visit to Boston?

Here are some helpful links for Travel and Accommodation:

Questions

Call or email Sarah Kess, Project Manager, BU Storytelling with Data Workshops.

Sponsors & Partners

About Us

The Boston University Data Storytelling Summer Workshop is the first-of-its kind, university-based training workshop created and led by a stellar team of interdisciplinary data storytellers, including journalists, computer scientists, information designers, software engineers. lawyers and professional communicators.

All classes are held in Boston University’s state-of-the-art computer labs, where you’ll have access to first-rate instructors and data coaches as well as a wealth of digital data catalogs, research tools and cutting-edge information resources.