Heidi Kähkönen

Data Journalist | Web Developer

What I do:

Web development

Boom or Bust

Boom or Bust pulls data from the Finnish Patent Registry's API and displays the number of companies being founded and number of companies that have started the process on bankruptcy on previous business day in Finland. User can take a look at a list of either companies and choose to save them to their profile. The app was built with Node.js, Express and Postgres, authentication was implemented with Bcrypt.

App on Heroku

Scene in the City

Scene in the City helps all movie lovers in San Francisco to explore the city through the shooting locations of their favorite movies. Scene in the City uses an SF Open Data API to query San Francisco Film Society's database and displays the shooting locations of the given movie or tv series on a Google Map. The app was built on Rails and Postgres. Scene in the city was a group project and I came up with the original idea, contributed to the API integration and styling.

App on Heroku


Skilled is an app that aims to match people and projects based on skills. It is aimed for students who want to collaborate with fellow students from different fields of studies. Skilled is built with MEAN stack (MongoDB, Express, Angular.js and Node.js) and is still in beta. And yes, that is my awesome team from Scene in the City -project.

"Engage and emporwer the users."

Data journalism

Vanhusvahti news application

I have been following the state of elderly care in Finland for a long time and wanted to find ways to explore the state in all of Finland. The National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland released a trove of recently collected open data about the state of elderly care in all the municipalities in Finland.

I saw the data as a great chance to show the big picture of care and also let users to zoom down to their own municipalities. With a team of a graphic designer and a developer, we designed and prototyped Vanhusvahti and sold the project to Finnish Broadcasting Corporation. Vanhusvahti was published in March, 2015 just before the parliamentary elections and raised elderly care into the spotlight for some time.

Vanhusvahti summarizes data on a nationwide level, lets users compare their municipality's performance to the national average and also see what the new Elderly Care Act has to say about receiving care.

The year-long project was a huge learning experience for me. It also showed that data in itself doesn't tell much and reminded me about how even the smallest numbers can have huge humane cost.

Link to Vanhusvahti

"Share everything you learn."


One of my guidelines in life is: try to share everything you have learned. In 2011, when I was still studying journalism, I heard a new and exciting buzzword, data journalism. I wanted to learn more about data journalism but at the time my university didn't offer any courses on it. So, for my bachelor's thesis, I decided to create one.

First "Data, not dada" was a tiny 1-credit workshop. Later on I have been fortunate to be able to develop the course and expand it to a proper 5-credit course with lectures, visitors and course projects. Once a year I teach my data journalism course "Data, not dada" at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. I will teach the 5th edition in fall 2015.

I also give shorter workshops on various topics including data journalism and always build the workshop to fit the needs of my customer. I have trained journalists to use email encryption (PGP) and how to verify information gathered from social media. If you are interested in getting yourself or your staff trained in #ddj or learning practical skills in information security, lets work something out!

Read my Bachelor's thesis on Theseus.


I charge 70 euros for every working hour. I charge for the hours giving the presentation and for the preparations. I will usually get paid double the amount of preparatory hours than what I spend teaching at the workshop. For example, four hours workshop equals to eight hours of preparing the content, so for a half-day workshop I charge 12 hours, which equals to 840 euros.

"Never stop being curious."


I became a journalist driven by my endless curiosity. Previously I have worked for weekly medical newspaper Mediuutiset but since 2013 I have worked as a freelancer. I have several clients and write mostly technology, information security and interesting startups. I have a strong background in writing about Finnish healthcare system and medicine. The following articles are in Finnish, althoug I write gladly in English, too.