Human-Centered Data Science – When the left brain meets the right brain

Abstract: We will present two different dimensions of the practice of data science, specifically data storytelling (including data visualization) and data literacy. There will be short presentations, integrated with interactive sessions, group activities, and brief moments of brain and body exercise. The combination of these various activities is aimed at demonstrating and practicing the concepts being presented. The Data Literacy theme component will include a section on "data profiling - having a first date with your data", focusing on getting acquainted with all the facets, characteristics, features (good and bad), and types of your data. This theme will also include a section on matching models to algorithms to data types to the questions being asked. The Data Storytelling theme component will include sections on the neuroscience of visual displays of evidence (visual analytics) for decision-making and include a component on user-centered design in data science. Design thinking, empathy, consultative practice, and the BI Dashboard Formula (BIDF) methodology will be emphasized. The combination of the two themes (data literacy and data storytelling) will be made more concrete through exercises in small breakout groups. Each group will be given a sample problem, then asked to take a data science approach (modeling, visualization, storytelling) to address the three fundamental questions that we should always consider in our projects: What? So what? Now what? The workshop participant will come away with design tips, tricks, and tools for better human-centered data science. The goal is for your next data science project and presentation to be your best ever. As Maya Angelou said so eloquently, “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Make your data science matter by demonstrating why and how it matters.

Bio: Kirk Borne is a data scientist and an astrophysicist who has used his talents at Booz Allen since 2015. He was professor of astrophysics and computational science at George Mason University (GMU) for 12 years. He served as undergraduate advisor for the GMU data science program and graduate advisor in the computational science and informatics Ph.D. program.
Kirk spent nearly 20 years supporting NASA projects, including NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope as data archive project scientist, NASA’s Astronomy Data Center, and NASA’s Space Science Data Operations Office. He has extensive experience in large scientific databases and information systems, including expertise in scientific data mining. He was a contributor to the design and development of the new Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, for which he contributed in the areas of science data management, informatics and statistical science research, galaxies research, and education and public outreach.