Laura Koesten

Who are you and what is you role in Data Stories?

My name is Laura Koesten, I am a PhD candidate at the University of Southampton and at the Open Data Institute. Data Stories  is closely related to the topic of my thesis – a user centred perspective on data search. We are exploring how people find and make sense of structured data on the web.

Why are you part of Data Stories and what do you hope to achieve? 

In Data Stories I am looking at Human Data Interaction, especially in the context of data discovery. I am also helping to study and design interactive visualisations aimed to encourage engagement with data.

Can you tell us an example of a data story that you care about?

There are many data stories, but what I care most about is understanding how we can communicate data so that people can hear, see and understand stories based on data. When we know that we can support people to create their own data stories.

Because I care about data, I care about the judgements we are making in very step of the process of data creation and analysis. I want to contribute to tools and theories that make us more aware of how our perspectives, our experience, our tools and our misconceptions influence the stories we are able to tell with data (and also those that we chose not to tell).

If we see data as a design material for our stories we are less likely to fall into the trap of seeing data as ‘facts’ and can start seeing data as a perspective. This is where I think our data stories get interesting.