Edward Segel - How to Tell Stories with Data

Edward Segel, an expert in data visualization, gave this great talk about four years ago that is available on Vimeo.  Segel is now the vice president of product development at the cutting edge insurance company Oscar.  Segel's talk is about interactivity and data visualization.  Early in the talk he says there are four main reasons to create interactive visualizations: (1) for analysis, (2) to personalize (e.g. to determine where you fit), (3) for social purposes, and (4) for storytelling. 

Inside of education we tend to focus on interactivity for analysis.  We use dashboards and tools (e.g. Excel) to analyze data that are available to us.  Outside of education data scientists are increasingly using interactive visualizations to tell stories about education (e.g. the recent NPR story about disparity in funding in education). 

Education leaders did to increase their emphasis on telling stories with data.  While we may not be trained to do this we need to understand that if we don't start others will...and we may not like the way they organize the data to tell stories. 

I encourage you to watch Segel's lecture and consider how you might harness the data that you have to make better interactive visualizations that will tell important stories about your school.  Segel's lecture can be a little academic at times, but the ideas and principles that he talks about will be helpful.