As part of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa Festival taking place during August and September this year, Hacks/Hackers Johannesburg will be hosting a workshop and hackathon exploring data and visual storytelling and how to make numbers look great.
Co-organiser and Editor-in-Chief htxt.co.za and Hypertext Media, Adam Oxford, says that when looking for stories in data, analysing the raw numbers is only half the work: “The real magic comes when you present it. We need to research how leading websites like The Economist, The Financial Times and Quartz produce dozens of graphs a day without ever looking dull or being meaningless. That’s a skill anyone can learn.”
From infographs to interactive charts, mobile applications to mapping tools, Oxford says there’s a wealth of options open for anyone who needs to put numbers in front of users or readers without putting them to sleep. “Whether you’re producing news, features, apps or games, presenting data is a vital skill for any communicator in the Internet age and we are extremely excited about presenting this workshop as part of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa festival.”
Working with top designers from the Praekelt Foundation at Jozihub, the format for the workshop will see attendees working in teams to analyse large datasets and present the stories they contain in imagery. “We’ll bring the data, you just bring a laptop and a willingness to produce vivid storytelling for a visual generation.” Prof Christo Doherty, co-founder of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa festival is delighted with the visual storytelling angle: “It was our intention to use different events to turn the spotlight on some aspect of digital technology. This workshop will bring coders, journalists, designers, students and game developers together to collaborate and innovate with useful and relevant outcomes.”