2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Truth Will Set You Free but Data Will Piss You Off

#sxsw #dataethics

As data become more readily available, we are lulled into believing “the numbers don’t lie.” However, the human data collection methods and process, the various motives of the people involved, the political or social systems in place all define how data are presented and perceived. Can any presentation of data be truly objective in the first place? This session will explore the issues and ethics around data visualization--a subject of recent debate in the data visualization community--and suggest how we can use data in tandem with social responsibility.



Grace Rodriguez


C2 Create

Grace Rodriguez lives by design. An inveterate polymath, Grace has cultivated over two decades of experience working with brands, government, technology startups, nonprofit organizations, design firms, creative entrepreneurs and a venture capital fund into a curious career of brand/business strategy + innovation consulting. On the side, she loves crafting interventions that transform technology, social media, data and design into meaningful interactive experiences that connect with, delight, and inspire audiences.

Grace is passionate about community and innovation. She serves Houston as a founding member of the Mayor’s Innovation and Technology Advisory Board; as Co-Founder and President of C2 Create, Houston’s first non-profit creative accelerator; as a Curator for TEDxHouston and as a serial board member, volunteer, speaker and educator for local nonprofits. Her work has been recognized with the Texas Statesman Social Media Award, the Pegasus Award of Distinction for "Destination Houston" (Producer), and Houston Press “Best New Magazine” for Rice Addict (Editor). She is proudest, however, of her work behind the scenes to help innovative people and organizations refine and realize their Big Ideas, then transform their potential energy into sustainable kinetic ventures.


Jake Porway

Exec Dir


Jake Porway is a machine learning and technology enthusiast who loves nothing more than seeing good values in data. He is the founder and Executive Director of DataKind, an organization that brings together leading data scientists with high impact social organizations to better collect, analyze, and visualize data in the service of humanity.


Jonathan Schwabish

Government Economist


Jonathan Schwabish is an economist with the U.S. federal government and creator of policy-relevant data visualizations. He has conducted research on inequality, immigration, retirement security, data measurement, food stamps, and other aspects of public policy in the United States. His work has been published in the Journal of Human Resources, the National Tax Journal, and elsewhere. He is also a data visualization creator and has made designs on a variety of topics that range from food stamps to health care to education. His visualization work has been featured on the visualizing.org and visual.ly websites. He has also spoken at numerous government agencies and policy institutions about data visualization strategies and best practices. He also conducts one-day workshops about visualizing and presenting data for people in public policy.


Kim Rees



Kim Rees is Head of Information Visualization at Periscopic, and is a prominent individual in the data visualization community. She has presented at several industry events including Strata, OSCON, Wolfram Data Summit, VisWeek, Tableau User Conference, NY Hacks/Hackers, and Portland Data Visualization among others.
She is an advisor to the US Congressional Budget Office. Kim has published papers in Parsons Journal of Information Mapping, was an award winner in the VAST 2010 Challenge, and is a guest blogger for Infosthetics and FlowingData.
Recently, she was the Technical Editor of Visualize This, by Nathan Yau of FlowingData. She was a judge on the WikiViz Challenge 2011 and CommArts Interactive Annual 2012.

Thanks to our sponsors

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Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil