OpenDev: Data Visualisation Workshop To Enhance Storytelling

Data Visualisation is a form of creative journalism where raw information is transformed into graphic or pictorial formats (e.g. maps, charts, infographics, timelines) to aid readers’ understanding. There is an art to this stage of data presentation as it can do more than compile data — it can tell a story that will make sense to a wider circle of consumers. On 7 June 2014, this art will be taught at a workshop held at Sithi Hub by Penhleak (Pinkie) Chan and Emanuel Feld.

“Visualizing information so that we can see the patterns and connections that matter and then designing that information so it makes more sense, or it tells a story, or allows us to focus only on the information that’s important,” said David McCandeless, a Data Journalist and Author of academic novel Information is Beautiful. It is true that there are endless ways to design data, and this process is gaining importance. We now have new sources of data and the technology to analyse it to enhancing traditional tools of the trade for journalism.

A brief sampling of data uses to tell stories, followed by an overview of some resources that can be commonly used to accomplish this, will be shared during the workshop. This training is designed for individuals with some prior journalistic or research experience, like how to collect and synthesize information into narratives and reports. The aim is to provide a good foundation from which to begin using free and simple data visualization tools to improve the impact of journalism ventures.


The tentative agenda is as follows:

8:00 – 8:15: Getting to know everyone and overview

8:15 – 9:00: #Dataviz Gallery: open critiques on infographics and data visualization

9:00 – 10:00: Presentation: Each step of the process / How to find data / How to check and clean data / How to visualize data correctly / How to publish your findings in a news story

10:00 – 11:00: Practical Work: Creating your dataviz with DataWrapper and

11:00 – 12:00: Practical Work: Creating your dataviz with Timeline JS and CartoDB


Interested participants are encouraged to explore DataWrapper, Timeline JS,, and CartoDB before the workshop, and watch “David McCandless: The Beauty of Data Visualization”. Both the trainers boast of enough experience to make the workshop compelling. Penhleak (Pinkie) is a Research & Volunteer Coordinator at Open Development Cambodia, and has worked with the Deutsche Welle Akademie’s Innovation Projects Team to provide data-driven journalism training to local journalists in Cambodia. Emanuel Feld is an American who has been working on Open Development Mekong since January, and is a co-organiser of the Khmer-language Open Data Handbook translation.

Data Visualisation Workshop To Enhance Storytelling is free and will take place from 8am to 12pm, Saturday, 7 June 2014, at Sithi Hub! You can find out more on their official Facebook event page here!