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Keynote Speaker

The Com-HAC 2018 Steering Committee is pleased to announce Alexandra Samuel as the conference’s Keynote Speaker.

Alexandra Samuel is an independent technology researcher and writer, and the author of Work Smarter with Social Media from the Harvard Business Review Press. Her work appears regularly in 
The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Harvard Business ReviewThe Christian Science Monitor’s Passcode, and JSTOR Daily. 

Her writing and research focus on how people and organizations manage the transition to a digital world, delving into topics like how professionals can make smart use of online tools, how businesses can adapt to the collaborative economy and how parents can raise tech-savvy kids.  Alexandra holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University.
Come hear Alexandra Samuel speak at Com-HAC 2018 on Wednesday, May 9at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto.  Secure your place today.

  • What is data-driven story telling?
    We’re used to thinking about data as part of decision-making — using research studies to figure out if treatment is effective, or looking at patients and service patterns to figure out how we need to staff or organize a clinic. We use data behind the scenes like this all the time. But data can also come out from behind the scenes and become part of our communications. The Canadian Institute for Healthcare Information does a terrific job of sharing data in a form that really helps people understand issues like youth mental health; the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety creates these great summary infographics to show the state of a big topic like aging workers. So, data-driven storytelling is about using data to drive content — not just infographics and charts but articles, stories, reports and videos — so we catch public attention and convey our message effectively.
  • Why is it important to tell these stories?
    There are a couple of related reasons that data-driven storytelling is effective. One reason is people tend to trust data-driven content as more authoritative or objective. And because of that, data-driven content tends to get more attention, and is shared more, especially if it includes good data visualizations. In the social media world, it is SO hard to compete for attention, but data-driven stories can really help you to stand out. Just make sure to include the story part, because otherwise, people can’t connect to the data emotionally.
  • Why are you looking forward to speaking at Com-Hac?
    I’m looking forward to a conversation about how we can use data to support patient and clinician awareness around community health; it can be hard to break through the general noise online, but learning how to share key data points can help us do it. And as someone who does a lot of writing about neurodiversity and the mental health impacts of technology, I’m really looking forward to being in a room with a bunch of community health professionals — I never know what I’m going to learn!
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