Stats Meets Storytelling: New Chief Data Scientist Brings Expanded Capabilities to Subject Matter

To bring its capacity for data-driven storytelling to a new level, Subject Matter announced this week that Eric Newburger will become its first Chief Data Scientist. With over three decades of experience as a data analyst, including 18 years as a senior data scientist at the United States Census Bureau, Newburger brings an encyclopedic knowledge of powerful public data sources that can be tapped to support communications strategies.

“There are two elements to making data work for you – picking the best data to use, and knowing how to present it so it makes the point most convincingly. Eric excels in both,” said Paul Frick, a Subject Matter founding partner. “No one is better at unlocking the power of data as a communications tool and we can’t wait to show what he can do for our clients.”

Newburger comes to Subject Matter from the U.S. Census Bureau where he spent 18 years as a survey scientist including serving as the Lead Researcher within the Communications Directorate where he was the key statistician behind the 2010 Decennial advertising campaign. He helped pioneer the Census Bureau’s effort to use data visualization to make its collected data more accessible to larger public audiences, has trained hundreds of Census Bureau staff in data visualization best practices, and has served as a statistician in a variety of surveys, including those related to immigration, education, voting, computer and internet usage, and income data.

“Understanding data can lead you to the secret, hidden truths of the world – truths hidden in plain sight. It’s exciting to find the right data set, that informs a solution to a problem, or illustrates a powerful narrative,” said Newburger.

Newburger holds an M.A. in Applied Economics from the University of Wisconsin, and a B.S. in Demography and the Environment from Cornell University. He has authored or co-authored numerous official reports and scholarly articles, including those on the U.S. foreign born labor force, educational attainment, computer and internet usage, and voting.

Newburger joins Subject Matter’s team of storytellers who mine client data for key insights. One of the team’s most recent initiatives includes the Census Population Clock, one of the more popular data tools on www.census.gov, which graphically tells the story of America’s changing population. With the success of the “Pop Clock”, the Census Bureau engaged Subject Matter to build a companion world experience that provides a demographic snapshot of every country around the world.

To learn more about Eric Newburger and what he does, check out his video on the Subject Matter site.

Subject Matter was formed in September 2015 with the merger of government affairs firm Elmendorf | Ryan and the digital, advertising, content, creative and media company Home Front Communications. Subject Matter is now a full-service creative communications and strategy agency working with nonprofits, companies and government agencies.