The Craft of Designing Smart Data Applications

Visualization & Interface
Location: Buckingham Room Level: Non-technical
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Finding stories in data and building services based on huge datasets is far from easy. The two strands of Open and Big Data – benefits for society and/or business – are still more promised lands than reality. The problem is enabling data as an asset and matching it to the needs of customers and/or citizens.

So obvious the key to open up the data vaults is making it accessible: interfaces provide entry points into datasets and should enable to retrieve intelligence of them. Thus – as it is always the case in software development – there is a need for careful designed feature sets and conclusive usability.

It‘s no wonder that a vast variety of data applications use maps: They are visualized geo data and provide a dense information canvas. Maps – depending on the shown area – relate highly with history and knowledge of individuals: the basic idea of the hyperlocal paradigm. Anyway, software designed to provide a service should be connect to something everyone can relate to personally and therefore vast dataset organized in databanks can be the ideal resource. Accordingly applications should reduce barriers of complexity through smart algorithms operated by clever interfaces.

Lorenz Matzat will talk about the craft of designing smart data applications based on his experience in selling to and designing data-driven apps for newspapers. He is as a co-founder of the award-winning data journalism agency OpenDataCity in Berlin (Online Journalism Award USA, Grimme Online Award Germany). Secondly, Matzat can rely to his expierence as a CEO with this data-startup Lokaler. The company, founded in 2011, provides an Open Data-friendly geo-information-system (GIS) for newspapers, administrations, NGO and special-interest-groups.

Lorenz Matzat


Dipl. Politologe (equv. MA Pol. Sc)
Journalist (
Entrepreneur (OpenDataCity | Lokaler)
Activist (Digitale Gesellschaft e.V.)


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