24 November 2021 - EU Open Data Days
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EU Open Data Days 23-25 November 2021

EU Open Data Days 23-25 November 2021

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The EU Open Data Days 
EU DataViz and EU Datathon



Opening speech - session - Boštjan Koritnik


13:50-14:00 (CET)

Welcome speech

Minister of Public Administration Boštjan Koritnik will address the strategic role open data plays in the Slovenian EU Presidency Programme, and importance of visualisation to advance open data agenda in Europe. He will also highlight trust as an important basis for data flow with respect of the European values and rules. Some of Slovenian open data best practices will also be shared.

Opening 1 - biography - Boštjan Koritnik

Boštjan Koritnik

Minister for Public Administration of Slovenia, representing the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Boštjan Koritnik graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Ljubljana in 2005, obtaining a degree in law. Since 2015, he has been employed at the same faculty as a teaching assistant and secretary. Since 2016, he has also worked as the Director of the Faculty of Law Publishing House and the Managing Director of the Založba Audiobook start-up company. He has worked with three crypto companies as a lawyer and co-founder, and acted as the Director of the GLEDOS (Global Education System) project. He has participated in numerous studies for the European Commission and various ministries, authored or co-authored legal opinions and other scholarly texts (242 entries in the Cobiss system) and lectured about blockchain technology and entrepreneurship both in Slovenia and abroad.

Plenary 1 - session - Sixtine Bouygues


14:00-15:10 (CET)

Making sense of data

Why using data visualisation in today’s world where data is the new goldmine? How does the European Commission use data viz to communicate on topics and initiatives, which are often complex and difficult to communicate? What are the current and future challenges in this context?

Plenary 1 - biography - Sixtine Bouygues

Sixtine Bouygues

Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Communication, European Commission

Sixtine Bouyuges is presently Deputy Director General in the Directorate General for Communication at the European Commission. Her career in the Commission started in 1984 in the translation department and include positions such as Acting Head of the Commission Representation in France, Director for communication actions and Director for strategy and corporate communication. Before joining the European institutions, Mrs Bouygues was the Assistant to the Secretary General of Pathé-Marconi in Paris and worked at the Embassy of Malaysia in France.

Plenary 2 - session - Valerie Saintot

Data visualisation as a vector of innovation - the case for lawyers

This presentation will promote data visualisation and knowledge visualisation as key levers for innovation in the legal field. Data and knowledge visualisations foster understanding, insight and collaboration, support consensus building and are key communication outreach enablers. A conceptual framework called ‘The Visual Syllogism’ will be presented, showing how it is possible to mobilise, effectively and efficiently, the power of data visualisation for the greater good.

Plenary 2 - biography - Valerie Saintot

Valérie Saintot

Head of Legislation Division and Legal KM, DG Legal, European Central Bank

Valérie Saintot is a lawyer who has worked in several EU institutions. In 2020, she completed her PhD with an emphasis on knowledge sharing and visualisation. She promotes the combination of textual, numerical and graphical visual cues to foster understanding, collaboration and decision-making. Currently, her focus is on legal design thinking and legal knowledge visualisation, in particular using EUR-Lex as a key source of legislative information.

Plenary 3 - session - Jonathan Schwabish (duplicate)

Applying diverse, equitable and inclusive awareness in data visualisation

How can analysts, researchers and developers apply race- and ethnicity-conscious lenses to their data analysis and data visualisation work? How can we take a more diverse, equitable and inclusive (DEI) perspective on our research, data and visualisations? We should be careful how we visually present data to our audiences, including the words we use in and around those visuals. Taking a DEI perspective means considering how the specific lived experiences and perspectives of the people and communities we are studying, and of our readers, will provide a perception of information and carry that information forward. In this talk, I discuss a variety of techniques that data visualisation producers should consider when creating visuals with this DEI approach. These issues are especially important in light of the recent discussions around race in the United States and around the world. Everyone working with data that includes information about race, ethnicity, gender, country of origin and more needs to be more aware of these issues and how to apply a DEI lens to their work. In this presentation, we focus on more than eight areas in which researchers, analysts and anyone working with data can be more inclusive in how they work with their data.

Plenary 3 - biography - Jonathan Schwabish

Jonathan Schwabish

Senior Fellow, Urban Institute, United States

Jonathan Schwabish is an economist, writer, teacher and creator of policy-relevant data visualisations. He is considered a leading voice for clarity and accessibility in how researchers communicate their findings. His latest book, Better Presentations – A guide for scholars, researchers, and wonks, helps people improve the way they prepare, design and deliver data-rich content, and details essential strategies to create more effective data visualisations. His edited book Elevate the Debate – A multilayered approach to communicating your research helps people develop a strategic plan to communicate their work across multiple platforms and channels. He is on Twitter @jschwabish.

Thematic session 1


15:30-16:50 (CET)

From open data to data visualisation

Moderator Lisa Burke

These sessions will serve as a bridge between open data and data visualisation, focusing on the importance of openness to build a powerful data visualisation.

TS 1 - session 1 - session - Benjamin Wiederkehr

Empowering citizens to turn open data into compelling insights

This session will share our learnings from building a data visualisation platform– https://visualize.admin.ch. Commissioned and co-created by the Swiss federal administration, we envisioned a new way to better serve citizens through linked open data. A self-service interface empowers users to visualise open data based on smart defaults and boosts the reach of open data with options for sharing. Visualisations are embedded with proper attribution and reliable reproducibility. You will learn all about the underlying design principles, the impact of participatory development methods and the benefits of user-centric open-data services.

TS 1 - session 1 - biography - Benjamin Wiederkehr

Benjamin Wiederkehr

Interaction designer with a focus on information visualisation and interface design

Benjamin Wiederkehr is the founder and director of Interactive Things, a design and technology studio that helps organisations create products to make data understandable and actionable for everyone. Company website: https://www.interactivethings.com

TS 1 - session 2 - session - Jose Berengueres

Knowledge, data, storytelling and bias?

The overabundance of data, the lack of regulation of social media, the fakenews phenomenon, and misinformation operations by bad actors pose significant threats to the democratic values of the EU. In this session, Jose Berengueres will show us how to distinguish data from knowledge, types of misinformation strategies, the types of bias that can affect a visual, and the relationship between data, narratives, and stories.

TS 1 - session 2 - biography - Jose Berengueres

Jose Berengueres

Professor of design thinking, University of United Arab Emirates

Jose Berengueres studied engineering in Barcelona, and holds a PhD from TokyoTech. Since 2011, he has worked at the U.A.E University where authored ’The Brown Book of Design Thinking’ (2013), ‘Sketch Thinking’ (2015), and the Kindle ‘Data visualization & Storytelling’ (2019). Jose is a Kaggle competitions master, data coach, international lecturer, and angel investor.

TS 1 - session 3 - session - Bernhard Krabina

Visualising public finance data - key of governmental transparency

Publishing financial information from public-sector institutions contributes to transparent governance. However, the large amount of budget and spending data from municipalities, regional governments and central governments can be hard to understand. Many public finance reports keep being published as PDF documents. The multi-award-winning platform Open Spending Austria has been rebuilt to reflect a massive shift in Austria’s public-sector finances (from cash-based to accrual accounting). The portal not only provides a visualisation of the spending data from more than 1200 municipalities in Austria, but also, being the largest open-data portal in Austria, acts as an open-data hub. This session will show how spending visualisations can help people understand public spending data. However, international examples are very heterogeneous, and there are hardly any best practices on how to visualise spending data.

TS 1 - session 3 - biography - Bernhard Krabina

Bernhard Krabina

Team coordinator for European Governance and Urban Policy at the Centre for Public Administration Research in Vienna, Austria

Bernhard Krabina specialises in knowledge management and digital transformation. He is the initiator of Austria’s largest, award-winning transparency portal https://www.offenerhaushalt.at (Open Spending Austria), where over 1 000 government institutions publish their spending data, which is then interactively visualised. As an active member of the Semantic MediaWiki community, he has developed several knowledge management platforms, such as the Vienna History Wiki. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the Vienna University of Business and Economics.

TS 1 - session 4 - session - Matthias Stahl

Why we need more data art

Data visualisation is more than mere line charts and puristic scatter plots. In fact, a thoughtful mix of ordinary elements with a spicy amount of creativity leads to more sustainable data visualisations that really affect your audience. Why? Because they convey emotions. How? That is the topic of this session. Website: https://www.higsch.com/

TS 1 - session 4 - biography - Matthias Stahl

Matthias Stahl

Deputy Head of the Graphics and Interactive department at the German news magazine Der Spiegel in Hamburg

Matthias is a data visualisation designer crafting impactful experiences at his company, higsch, in Germany. Before tapping into data visualisation he studied biochemistry and performed deep bioinformatic analyses on leukaemia data sets. When he realised that no breakthrough is possible without data visualisation, he started combining his analytical skills with artistic creativity to create unique visuals.

Thematic session 2


15:30-16:50 (CET)

Serving citizens with data visualisation

Moderator Chris Burns

These sessions will serve as a bridge between open data and data visualisation, focusing on the importance of openness in building powerful data visualisations.

TS 2 - session 1 - session - Mirko Lorenz

How automated data visualisation became indispensable during the COVID-19 pandemic

Launched in 2012, Datawrapper simplifies the creation of professional charts, maps and tables. The tool further enables users to set up automated chart updates, reuse and sharing. The results can be published as responsive visuals for the web, used for presentations and for high-quality printing. During the pandemic, the tool was widely used as a go-to option to publish new data, resulting in an unprecedented spike in embed views: from 265 million in January 2020 to 4.4 billion in March and 4.7 billion in April. The session will discuss the role of automated data visualisations, but will also provide insights into how they can easily be created – from set-up to daily operation to learnings. The focus will include collecting and documenting learnings from a period of extreme demand, and how automated charts and maps set up by multiple newsrooms helped to improve workflows for fast, consistent and timely updated data distribution.

TS 2 - session 1 - biography - Mirko Lorenz

Mirko Lorenz

Chairman and co-founder of Datawrapper

Mirko Lorenz is the chairman and co-founder of Datawrapper, formerly the CEO (2009-2019). Launched in 2012, Datawrapper simplifies the creation of professional charts, maps and tables. The tool further enables the set-up of automated chart updates, re-use and sharing. Results can be published as responsive visuals for the web, used for presentations and for high-quality print. During the pandemic, the tool was widely used as a go-to option to publish new data, resulting in an unprecedented spike in usage.

TS 2 - session 2 - session - Tamara Flemisch

Europe’s countries and how to deal with them visually

Europe and its countries are highly diverse and consist of different, non-mutually exclusive subgroups, such as the EU, the Schengen area, candidates for the EU, the EU-27, the EU-28, the euro area, etc. In short, it is complicated. These different categories, and in general the increasing number of states with different statuses, also pose challenges for visualising European data. This talk aims to explore the challenges information designers face when presenting European data. First, Tamara will explain the challenges caused by Europe’s diverse nature, such as association with a particular group or showing data for 27 countries in one chart. Second, she will give an overview of the approaches that are currently used to handle these problems using examples of visualisations. Third, and finally, she will present some alternative methods for addressing these challenges, such as using interactive visualisations or less common visualisation techniques.

TS 2 - session 2 - biography - Tamara Flemisch

Tamara Flemisch

Information designer

Tamara Flemisch worked as an information designer for Destatis. She now works as a web developer for the newspaper Tagesspiegel and has a degree in media computer science. She was also a research associate at the Technische Universität Dresden where her research focused on how novel technology can support data analysis and visualisation.

TS 2 - session 3 - session - Marco Cortella, Davide Vernassa

Data visualisation on mobile devices – issues and best practices from a use case in the public sector

The use of content on mobile devices has been growing rapidly. User interactions on desktops and mobiles differ greatly, and being able to adapt data visualisations conceived for large screens to smaller ones is a fundamental asset. Starting from our experience in the health sector in the Veneto region in Italy during the pandemic, we would like to illustrate some of the challenges and possible solutions in the creation of dashboards and data visualisations designed primarily for mobile devices. This pandemic period has shown us the limitations, exclusions and misleading ideas behind visualisations. Taking inspiration from these cases, we will present the very latest developments in data visualisation for mobile platforms and how it can evolve to meet the needs of users. This session will provide both general best practices and a real use case on the topic. We will show a real example of Italian public-sector data visualisation for mobiles, prepared with the Healthcare department of the Veneto region. Our project has been developed using Knowage, an open-source tool that is already available for the public sector.

TS 2 - session 3 - biography - Marco Cortella, Davide Vernassa

Marco Cortella

Data visualisation specialist and business intelligence consultant for Engineering Group

Alongside his engagement with Engineering Group, Marco Cortella works as a data visualisation lecturer at the Enrico Della Valle IT & Management Academy in Rome. He played an active role in the FIWARE and OW2 European open-source communities. In Italy, Marco is involved in initiatives for data transparency and openness, specifically in the fight against COVID-19.

Davide Vernassa

UI designer and senior front-end developer for Engineering Group

Davide Vernassa is in charge of the front-end and accessibility features for Knowage (an open-source business intelligence suite). In recent years he has contributed to the P4All project, developing new accessible BI features and carrying out various dissemination activities at the international level.

TS 2 - session 4 - session - Geert Stox

Don’t you see it? Why data don’t tell people much

For most people, data do not ‘exist’ unless visualised, either physically or mentally. As a communication agency working for the EU, we permanently use data to persuade citizens and to substantiate our messages. This session will provide background insights and different use cases, demonstrating how we help clients’ and stakeholders’ data come alive and become concrete, in order to come up with effective and impactful ideas for campaigns and projects. The presentation will be a practical example, based on scientific insights to understand how data shape the creation of public communication campaigns with the objective of positively changing the beliefs, attitudes and behaviour of people for a better future.

TS 2 - session 4 - biography - Geert Stox and Philip Schielbold

Geert Stox

Head of Strategy and Senior Strategic Planner/Strategic Advisor at ICF Next

Geert Stox has a sound knowledge of institutional communications, branding, innovation and consumer behaviour. Enjoying more than 25 years of experience working for international network agencies including DDB, McCann, Saatchi, JWT and Leo Burnett, he has developed significant expertise in a wide range of sectors, industries and markets. With his head-on ideas, he brings sense and simplicity to strategic thinking.

Philip Schiebold

Creative Director, ICF Next

Started his career in advertising where he spent over a decade working with local and international brands in the fast-moving consumer goods and the car sectors. For the past eight years, He has been specialised in institutional communications, working predominantly with the European Commission as an expert in creative concept and brand image development, integrated marketing as well as social media communication. As Creative Director at ICF Next, he oversees the work of the creative teams and all creative assets.

Thematic session 3


15:30-16:50 (CET)

Data visualisation for policymaking

Moderator Jennifer Baker

These sessions will explore how data visualisation can support the decision-making cycle, with a special focus on the EU public sector.

TS 3 - session 1 - session - Ana Florina Pirlea, Divyanshi Wadhwa

The story of the Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2020

The presentation will include a brief overview of the Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals series, describe the vision and technology used for the 2020 edition and highlight a set of key visuals to explain the approach the team took to showcase the latest development trends and the early impact of COVID-19, using interactive storytelling and data visualisations.

TS 3 - session 1 - biography - Ana Florina Pirlea, Divyanshi Wadhwa

Ana Florina Pirlea

Statistician at the Development Data Group of the World Bank

Florina Pirlea focuses on data communication and the World Development Indicators database. Before joining the World Bank, she worked at the International Monetary Fund in the Statistics Department. Her areas of interest include data communication and dissemination, private-sector development, the environment and public policy. She holds an MA in international economics from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in economics and psychology from Bryn Mawr College. She is a co-editor of the Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2020.

Divyanshi Wadhwa

Junior data scientist with the Development Data Group at the World Bank. Also works on the World Development Indicators database

Prior to joining the World Bank, Divyanshi Wadhwa worked as a research assistant at an international development think tank, the Center for Global Development in Washington DC. During her time there, she focused her research on private-sector development and illicit financial flows, and helped launch a data visualisation venture. Divyanshi holds a BA in political science from the University of Delhi, India, and a master’s in public policy from Georgetown University, United States. She is a co-editor of the Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2020.

TS 3 - session 2 - session - Darren McGarry / Wouter Nijs

Simplifying complexity – visualising energy scenarios for climate neutrality

Europe aims to be climate neutral by 2050. To reach this ambitious goal we need to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030. We have a host of energy options (scenarios) to choose from, generated from several million data points. How can we translate these complex models into something that can be understood by experts, policymakers and EU citizens alike? At the same time, there is a lack of awareness about how we produce and use energy, what our future options will be and how our lives, economy and environment will be affected. It is critical to create awareness in a language everybody can understand. We will demonstrate how data visualisation tools can increase the awareness and understanding of complex issues and can ultimately facilitate citizens’ engagement in crucial Commission initiatives such as the European Green Deal. Although the session is focused on energy technologies, the objectives, and the development strategy, are generic to all the main issues on the EU’s public-sector agenda.

TS 3 - session 2 - biography - Darren McGarry / Wouter Nijs

Darren McGarry

Communication specialist at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Darren McGarry specialises in combining innovative communication and visualisation to translate complex issues into an understandable language for both politicians and EU citizens. He has a vast amount of experience in communicating complexity in the energy domain. Darren has given masterclasses on communication for both political and scientific audiences and often moderates international conferences in many areas, from nuclear energy to the safety of tattoos.

Wouter Nijs

Project officer at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Together with his JRC colleagues, Wouter Nijs was the first to open a European multisectoral energy system model named JRC-EU-TIMES, along with ENPSRESO, a coherent database of wind, solar and biomass energy potentials. He recently co-authored the report Towards net-zero emissions in the EU energy system by 2050, and has supported the scenario work for the impact assessment on the increase in the EU 2030 climate target.

TS 3 - session 3 - session - Caroline Goulard

Public transport in the service of equal opportunities – better data visualisation for better decision-making

With the arrival of new players and new regulations in favour of open data, mobility data has exploded. This presents an unprecedented opportunity to provide citizens with more efficient mobility offers, but also the challenge of transforming this complex data into meaningful information and informed decisions. Mobility data is massive and fascinating, but also technical and hard to use. How can we create diagnostic and ideation tools that facilitate collaboration between everyone involved in the search for better solutions – operators, regulators, urban planners, elected officials, citizens? At Dataveyes, we have produced several data visualisation tools to help mobility players face these challenges. We will share our feedback, illustrated by concrete cases. The massification and openness of mobility data is a new phenomenon. Data visualisation tools dedicated to mobility data are still rare and little-known initiatives.

TS 3 - session 3 - biography - Caroline Goulard

Caroline Goulard

Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Dataveyes

Ever since the completion of her studies in data journalism, Caroline has nurtured a passion for how information can be expressed, shared and understood. In 2010, sensing that the rich-data era will transform the way we work, learn and communicate, she co-founded Dataveyes, a studio that specialises in human–data interactions. Within Dataveyes, she translates data into interactive visualisations in order to reveal new insightful stories, accompany new uses and understand our environment shaped by data and algorithms.

TS 3 - session 4 - session - Shirley Kempeneer / Lisanne van Weelden

Friendly open data visualisation about droughts: The importance on citizens' engagement

The open-government-data movement promotes the availability of government information online. It is still unclear which format of data communication is most conducive to increased citizen awareness and use. In a case study of the open data made available by a regional water authority in the Netherlands, Shirley Kempeneer and Lisanne van Weelden use a multi-method approach to understand how visualisations can unleash the potential of the existing data and help communicate complex issues such as drought. The session will provide findings from the citizen survey and field lab on visualising drought, and will discuss effective tools and processes of data visualisation for policymakers, decision-makers and the general public. A successful use case of data visualisation in the water management sector will be presented.

TS 3 - session 4 - biography - Shirley Kempeneer / Lisanne van Weelden

Shirley Kempeneer

Assistant Professor at Tilburg University

Shirley Kempeneer is an expert in the use of open data and artificial intelligence in the public sector.

Lisanne van Weelden

Assistant Professor at Utrecht University

Lisanne van Weelden researches the cognitive effects of data visualisation and valorises this research at Deloitte.

Plenary 4 - session - Matteo Moretti

Opening the open data

The talk relies on the design strategies behind the project http://glocalclimatechange.eu. It describes how data storytelling and design can make sense of EU climate open data for a broader and more general audience, not only in communicating essential data but also in increasing social media impact. Open data has great potential, but it risks becoming a lost opportunity if the knowledge and tools to process it remain the prerogative of insiders who already know how to work and deal with them. In this sense, design plays a crucial role in opening open data to a broader audience, especially on socially relevant issues, such as climate change. Design allows a more general audience to embrace the complexity of eco-social phenomena and foster a deeper understanding of the value of open data, which may turn into digital commons for a better-informed society.

Plenary 4 - biography - Matteo Moretti

Matteo Moretti

Designer and co-founder, Sheldon.studio, Italy

Matteo Moretti is an award-winning designer and co-founder of Sheldon.studio, the first studio working on information-experience design. His projects, presented at many academic conferences and events, have received the 2015 Data Journalism Award and the 2016 and 2017 European Design Award. Matteo was also a jury member for the 2017 and 2018 World Press Photo contest and one of the 100 ambassadors of Italian design in the world for 2018.

Closing speech - session - Paul Hofheinz


17:25-17:30 (CET)

Closing speech


Closing - biography - Paul Hofheinx

Paul Hofheinz

President and Co-founder, The Lisbon Council, ASBL

Paul Hofheinz is president and co-founder of the Lisbon Council. In this capacity, Mr. Hofheinz manages the organisation on a daily basis and is responsible for strategic oversight, including growth, publishing and development. He also maintains a personal research programme, writing, publishing and speaking on topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, the future of work, innovation, startups, the knowledge-economy, human capital, growth-company finance, economic reform and European politics. Previously, Mr Hofheinz worked as a writer and editor at The Wall Street Journal, Fortune and Time magazines and the Central European Economic Review. Mr. Hofheinz holds a master’s degree in the government and politics of Russia from London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale.