Course Description

We are swimming in data – “Big” and small, global and personal. And we are also facing complicated problems like Climate Change and inequality whose stories can only be told with data. The need for public understanding of data-driven issues is higher than ever before. But raw data doesn’t make a good story and that’s where you come in.

This class is focused on how to tell stories with data to create social change. We will learn through case studies, examples and hands-on experimentation with tools and technologies. We will teach basic methods for research, cleaning and analysis of datasets, but the focus in on creative methods of data presentation and storytelling. We will consider the emotional, aesthetic and practical effects of different presentation methods as well as how to develop metrics for assessing impact. For the final project, students will create a piece that tells a data-driven story.

The course is open to all technical levels and backgrounds. We will prioritize students with a strong background in one or more of the following areas: journalism, software development, data analysis, documentary, visual and performing arts.

This semester the course will have a special focus on Civic Data – using data for the public good. Most examples will use data related to this topic, homeworks will be related to it, and final projects must be connected to it as well.

We will meet Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 4:30pm in MIT room 4-261.

Read the full syllabus for more info.