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Technology & Science

Data Stories

In the post-truth society we live in, experts must find novel ways to bring data to citizens. Data must entertain as well as inform, and excite as well as educate. In Data Stories we explore how people engage with data. We work on solutions that help make data more relevant, interactive and easier to share.

Data Stories is a three-year grant funded by EPSRC. We are working on human data interaction frameworks and technologies, with a focus on the arts, games, and storytelling as means to encourage public engagement with facts and evidence, published, for instance, as open government datasets or charts. We are trying to determine the impact that varying levels of data localisation, topicalisation, participation and shareability have on engagement with data on social media or in other data experiences.

The Data Stories human data interaction framework is supported by models, algorithms, and guidelines that help individuals and groups in creating bespoke participatory content from data (for example, through art, games, and storytelling). The framework design is informed by practice-led research in three main areas:

  • finding and enriching data;
  • generating content from data; and
  • sharing and engaging with data on social media.

We draw upon methods from several disciplines: data and content management; machine learning; human data interaction; game design and gamification; crowdsourcing; online communities; social and political sciences; creative writing; and visual arts, among others.

data stories visual summary

Summary of Findings

In November 2020 we organised the Data Stories Symposium, an online event bringing together researchers and practitioners in human data interaction, data journalism, and data storytelling. The event was recorded in a series of visual summaries, produced by JDK Films.

Our key results are discussed in the Data Stories slide deck.

Project status: Completed

Principal Investigator



Funding Body: The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Amount: £92,448.85

Period: February 2020 - January 2021