Nova Scotia Launches Data Storytelling Application

February 05, 2019 by Jamie Shell

Nova Scotia Launches Data Storytelling Application

Photo: Shawn Kent/Flickr

Nova Scotia is becoming a data storyteller. 

On the third anniversary of launching its open data portal, the province unveiled Perspectives, a next-gen data narration application, on Feb. 5.

With Socrata's Perspectives, governments have access to a toolbox of options to create stories that provide context around datasets to increase usage, and spur innovation, while producing user-friendly webpages that make understanding complex information easier.

The new application is expected to help users understand what specific data means, where it came from, and how it connects to other related resources.

"We have some complex datasets as well as collections of related datasets, and it's important the public understands how this data is captured, organized, and what it means so they can use that data to a greater advantage," said Nova Scotia Manager of Information Management Chevonne Lyons.

The launch will include stories on Lyme disease and ambient air quality, a guide and training materials on using the open data portal, and highlights of innovative uses of the data.

"The focus of the stories will be to improve the understanding of the portal and the data it contains so people can innovate with the data and create new lines of business, applications, and services that can grow the economy," said Connie Michaelis, Director of Corporate Information Services.

The data stories shared on Perspectives are all connected back to Nova Scotia Open Data Portal which launched  Feb. 5, 2016.

Michaelis expects the data stories will have a particular interest among the business community, but also will be interesting and of value to the public in general.

In addition, she also expects researchers to glean new insights from the data, which could lead to new product development.

And they're looking to learn more about how the public uses data from the portal. They encourage anyone who has benefited from or used the data to share their experiences.

"The more we can help people understand and use this data, the greater the benefits will be," Michaelis said.

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