Hannah Fairfield at Tapestry 2015: On Data Revelations

We’re excited to have Hannah Fairfield, currently of the New York Times, speaking at Tapestry this year. Two years ago, at the first Tapestry event, Hannah gave a Short Story talk on connected scatterplots that showcased some of her work while at the Washington Post. I’d always appreciated how she thought through that form, using it to highlight parts of a story that another approach would have lost.

We asked Hannah back as a keynote because she continues to contribute thoughtful and innovative work to the emerging field of data storytelling. Hannah was part of the team that produced Snow Fall, an interactive story that combined narrative, data and video and became the definition of multimedia storytelling.

In a talk back at Malofiej Hannah talked about the need to fail to be innovative. It’s a wonderful minute or so that you can watch on the blog Visual Journalism.

And if you missed Hannah that year at Malofiej, you can see her at Tapestry Conference in March. Her keynote will focus on data revelations:

The end product of any research or reporting — after the wonderfully messy analysis and editing phases — is revealing the essential truths uncovered in that hunt. As data becomes more readily accessible than ever before, our challenge is to avoid getting caught up in the supply of data, and to stay focused on what we can learn from it. We don’t need our readers to know how clever we were to collect it, but instead we want to glean conclusions from our information, and find signals in the analysis that tell us something we didn’t know before. It’s the revelation that defines the prize; we are using visualization to see patterns, to make discoveries like scientists and inventors. And above all else, to teach our readers and ourselves something new about the world and our role in it.

We are still accepting applications for Tapestry 2015, but not many spots are left. Please apply soon if you’re interested in attending, and see you in March!