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storytelling with data podcast
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storytelling with data podcast

Author: storytelling with data author, speaker and dataviz guru Cole Nussbaumer Kna

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Rid your world of ineffective graphs and mediocre presentations, one exploding 3D pie chart at a time! The storytelling with data podcast from bestselling author, speaker and workshop guru, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic covers topics related to data storytelling, better presentations, and all things data viz. There is a story in your data—get the skills and power to tell it!
25 Episodes
When in DC recently, Cole visited the Urban Institute to talk with Jon Schwabish, author of Better Presentations and editor of the soon-to-be-released book, Elevate the Debate. Tune in to hear them discuss the importance of meeting people where they are, the Pyramid Philosophy for ensuring communications are rooted in sophisticated analysis, plus presentation tips on where to start, incremental slide improvements, and finishing touches. Giving a presentation is like selling an idea—it’s a skill that must be learned and Jon shares ways we can improve our own work and influence those around us. LINKS: Pre-order: Elevate the Debate Book: Better Presentations Follow Jon: @jschwabish | | Jon’s collection of warning signs Learn more about the Urban Institute People mentioned: Kim Rees, Andy Kirk, Ann Emery, Hans Rosling, Nancy Duarte, Dave Connell, Charles Schwab, RJ Andrews Image resources: Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay
Backstage at the Tableau Conference, Cole sat down with the three authors of The Big Book of Dashboards for a lively conversation. Listen to their chat about the conference, their book, and more—including Jeff’s six design tips, Steve’s goal of creating the greatest degree of understanding with the least amount of effort, and Andy’s view on the role of culture and what organizations should do before investing in a dashboarding tool to help ensure success. LINKS: Book: The Big Book of Dashboards Follow Andy: @acotgreave | Follow Jeff: @HighVizAbility | Follow Steve: @datarevelations | 
From graphs made with electric tape and exacto knives at NASA to CEO of a renowned Silicon Valley communications firm—in this episode, Cole talks with best-selling author Nancy Duarte about her new book, DataStory, and related topics. Tune in to hear about Nancy’s hunt for unicorns, why bridging the chasm between exploration and explanation is good for your career, and the Duarte magic that turned thousands of slides into three simple graphs. Show Links: Follow Nancy: @nancyduarte | New book: DataStory  Other books: Resonate | Illuminate | Slide:ology | HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations  
If good graphs empower us to pose good questions, what happens on the dark side of data viz? In this episode, Cole talks with Alberto Cairo about his new book, How Charts Lie. Their conversation delves into how information designers and consumers are both to blame as well as how mindfulness relates to chart making and interpretation. Tune in also to hear tips to keep from spreading misinformation, why “essay” is a beautiful word, and Alberto’s optimism for the future of data visualization. LINKS: Order How Charts Lie Follow Alberto: | @albertocairo Book: Factfulness (Rosling) Book: For Argument’s Sake (Stafford) Book: How to Lie with Maps (Monmonier) Book: Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) (Tavris & Aronson) Book: Naked Statistics (Wheelan) Book: Picturing the Uncertain World (Wainer) Book: The Enigma of Reason (Mercier & Sperber) Book: The Righteous Mind (Haidt) Book: Thinking Fast & Slow (Kahneman) Visual essays: The Pudding
The sloppy copy, picture power, and more about Cole’s new book in this special episode of the SWD podcast. LINKS: Pre-order storytelling with data: Let’s Practice! Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
Broadcasting from Seville, Spain—a city where modern and traditional meet in design—in this episode, Cole chats with three designers from digital production studio, Z1. The conversation flows from empathy in design to the importance of research and user feedback for de-risking projects and building thoughtful products to approaches when your client doesn’t know what they want (or wants everything!). You’ll also hear great tips on fostering a critique mindset, applying Fitts’s law, using constraints to prioritize, and being adaptive to new technologies.
Asking good questions can help improve our own and others’ work: both when exploring and explaining data. Tune in to hear Cole cover five smart queries to pose and answer during the analytical process and five more to consider when you are getting ready to explain that data to others. Cole also answers listener questions on collecting requirements for good data viz, what to do when asked to prove something with data that doesn’t pan out, and strategies for effectively presenting remotely. Links: Register for final 2019 public workshop Pre-order storytelling with data: Let’s Practice! Questions? email  Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
While recently in Copenhagen, Cole had a great chat with dataklubben podcasters Søren Christian Søndergaard Poulsen and Jens-Jacob Aarup. Tune in to hear about how story can help save us from death by data, the importance of starting low tech, and ideas for shifting organizational culture to become truly data-driven. Cole also talks about her soon-to-be-released second book, storytelling with data: let’s practice!  LINKS: Register for final 2019 public workshop Pre-order storytelling with data: let’s practice! Check out the dataklubben podcast  
It sounds like a simple question, yet it’s one with which many people grapple: how do I best visualize my data? In this episode, Cole reviews the most common types of data visualizations used in a business setting and discusses use cases and considerations with each. Tune in also to hear Cole address listener questions on graphing survey results, Tableau vs. PowerBI and how to influence a client who wants default graphs rather than a data-driven story. LINKS: SWD blog post: grables and taphs #SWDchallenge recap: plots with dots #SWDchallenge recap: 88 annotated line graphs Curved Discussion post: lines vs. bars Flourish graph: GOT bar chart race Data Revelations post: rethinking the divergent stacked bar BBC Video: Hans Rosling bubblegraph Tweet: bubblegraph GIF Map: 100 years of platypus sightings Map: pasture and crop Resource: #SWDchallenge recap: square area graphs Twitter thread: Tableau vs. PowerBI Register: May 30th (free!) live event Register: upcoming European 1-day workshops May #SWDchallenge recap: artisanal data Questions? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
Honing your own data visualization and storytelling skills is one thing. But what about when you want to help others around you? In this episode, Cole discusses what you can do—whether a manager interested in developing your team or an individual interesting in influencing those around you—to cultivate organizational capabilities for effective data storytelling. Cole also addresses listener questions on when we should use graphs, data viz tools for beginners, and getting effective feedback. LINKS: We’re hiring! SWD careers Interesting team set ups? Email Article: A Framework to Give Better Design Feedback: Analyze, Discuss, Suggest April #SWDchallenge: emulate Questions? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
In this episode, Cole talks with data storyteller and author of recently published Info We Trust: How to Inspire the World with Data—RJ Andrews. They converse over coffee in his San Francisco kitchen, discussing the book, RJ’s unique creative process (including the 300+ hand drawn images that fill the book)  and sources of inspiration for data storytelling. Listening time: 1:03:57 LINKS: Buy the book! Info we Trust: How to Inspire the World with Data Follow @infowetrust | Questions? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
How did you learn to visualize data? Professionals in this space hail from a wide variety of backgrounds and in this episode, you’ll hear a dozen responses to this question, from artists, mathematicians and more. Listen to these industry leaders’ captivating stories and anecdotes—while learning lessons that you can apply to hone your own data visualization skills.   Moritz Stefaner: @moritz_stefaner | Andy Cotgreave: @acotgreave | Jen Christiansen: @ChristiansenJen | Alberto Cairo: @albertocairo | RJ Andrews: @infowetrust | Jeffrey Shaffer: @HighVizAbility | Shirley Wu: @sxywu  | Jon Schwabish: @jschwabish | Naomi B. Robbins: @nbrgraphs | Steve Wexler: @VizBizWiz | Robert Kosara: @eagereyes | Elijah Meeks: @Elijah_Meeks |
Why do new year’s resolutions often fail? How do we set good goals? In this episode, Cole discusses the quarterly OKR goal-setting process she learned at Google and how it can be used to foster intentional actions, help achieve major accomplishments, and contribute to success—in work, and in life! Cole also answers listener questions on graphical literacy, how to convince someone that story isn’t fluff, and tips for ensuring success when crafting data stories that someone else will present. Video: How Google Sets Goals Upcoming public workshops: 2019 schedule January #SWDchallenge: let’s try something new! storytelling with data: book downloads Questions? email Feedback? email Follow @randyknaflic Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
What is the Third Wave of Data Visualization? Elijah Meeks believes it’s happening now and that it means changing constructs and possibly priorities for practitioners. In this episode, Cole sits down with Elijah in Miami after his closing keynote presentation at the Tapestry conference. They discuss his presentation, moving past optimizing for a single chart, building trust to push boundaries, teaching stakeholders data literacy, and more. LINKS: Tapestry conference keynote: link to video to be added when available Book: D3.js in Action Data visualization survey: 2018 results Follow Elijah: @Elijah-Meeks | Medium | Github storytelling with data: book downloads December #SWDchallenge: visualize the holidays Upcoming workshops: Q1 2019 schedule Questions? email Feedback? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
It’s a community project, it’s a book, it may even be a way to land a new job! Hear Cole talk with coathors Andy Kriebel and Eva Murray about their writing process and lessons from #MakeoverMonday: Improving How We Visualize and Analyze Data, One Chart at a Time, including the importance of simplifying and iterating, why feedback posed as a question can be less intimidating, and experimentation as a way to learn how to better visualize data. LINKS: Book: #MakeoverMonday: Improving How We Visualize & Analyze Data, One Chart at a Time #MakeoverMonday: the project, the gallery, the data, upcoming webinars & workshops Follow Andy: @VizWizBI | LinkedIn Follow Eva: @TriMyData | LinkedIn Questions? email Feedback? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
Could the process of choosing where to live give us some insights on choosing the “right” graph? When it comes to your data presentations, how do you choose the right graph? Is there even such a thing as the “right” graph? In this episode, Cole shares some updates on life changes, discusses the concept of graphing for exploring and understanding your data, graphing for communicating, and some tools that may make your process for landing on an effective visual more efficient. She answers listener Q&A on non-zero baselines, when to use an axis vs. when to label data directly, and how to know when your visualization is complete. Listening time: 32:58 LINKS: Zan Armstrong’s video: include link to Zan’s UW talk Elijah Meeks’ Medium article: What charts do Juice Analytics Chart Chooser Ann Emery’s Essentials Chart Choosing Tool Jon Schwabish’s Graphic Continuum Poster & Cards Andy Kirk’s Chartmaker Directory Browse the archives: #SWDchallenge Questions? email Feedback? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
After a brief pause, the storytelling with data podcast is almost back with a replay of a recent podcast Cole did with Moritz Stefaner and Enrico Bertini of Data Stories.   Listening time: 37:02   Follow on Twitter: @datastories, @moritz_stefaner, @FILWD
Do graphs always have to have a zero baseline? Are pie charts evil? Is there a single, “right” answer? In this episode, Cole discusses a number of myths and a few rules in data visualization. She also answers listener Q&A on how to deal with presenting materials you aren’t necessarily proud of, strategies for graphing uneven time intervals, and tips for teams interested in developing data visualization skills. LINKS: June #SWDchallenge: slopegraphs Blog post: connecting...the dots Podcast: Jon & I chat about non-zero baselines Blog post: bar charts must have a zero baseline Blog post: a little math on non-zero baselines Study: an illustrated tour of the pie charts study results Blog post: F**k it, let’s use pie charts Podcast: a conversation with Alberto Cairo (Episode 7) Book: Data Points Book: Factfulness Medium series: Data Visualization, Fast & Slow Podcast: constraints (Episode 5) New blog page: #SWDchallenge Questions? email Feedback? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
Truth or Lie? It isn’t that simple or binary when it comes to visualizing and communicating with data: there is a spectrum. In this episode, Cole talks with special guest, famed professor, author, and data journalist Alberto Cairo, about truth with a lowercase “t,” his efforts to bring graphical literacy to the public through the Visual Trumpery tour and his upcoming book, parallels between data visualization & writing, and more. LINKS: Website: Blog: Twitter: @albertocairo Video: Visual Trumpery (Ihaka lecture) Article: Alberto’s collaboration with Google News Lab Google News Lab’s Data Visualization Projects Upcoming MOOC: data visualization for storytelling & discovery Tool: InZight for Data Analysis
Whether it’s a graph, a slide, a presentation, your message, a story—there can be immense value in talking through it, out loud. In this session, Cole discusses her experiences and the benefits to speaking out loud to refine, practice, and identify better solutions. Cole also answers listener questions on the use of pictures in data visualization, tricks for formatting axis labels, and how to apply data storytelling to augment regular reporting. LINKS: Article: The Perks of Talking to Yourself Study: This time it’s personal: the memory benefit of hearing onesself (related article) Study: ISOTYPE Visualization – Working Memory, Performance, and Engagement with Pictographs (related post) Blog post: supercategory axis labels in Excel Blog post: gridlines are gratuitous Blog post: #SWDchallenge square area graphs (recap coming soon!) Workshop/training inquiries: Questions? email Feedback? email Follow @storywithdata | share via #SWDpodcast
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Laurynas Mar


Feb 10th
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