Source: Rich Gordon, Knight Lab, Northwestern University

What we do

  • “data journalism”
  • “interactive data visualisation”
  • “interactive graphics”

“Data journalism”

Not a new idea

Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1988, via Power Reporting

Pretty pictures are not the objective

“I sort of see data journalism ... as social science done on deadline.

“We’re using the tools that social scientists have used for years ... [and] applying those tools to journalism problems and using it to help us tell stories with more authority.”

Source:‘Social science done on deadline’: Research chat with ASU’s Steve Doig on data journalism,” Journalists’ Resource, Shorenstein Center, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Reporting using statistical analysis

Data-driven journalism

So what is new?

Growing UK data availability


The web!

“The Web is the canvas for CAR ... It has every advantage ... including unlimited depth, the ability to customize or personalize and the luxury of designing a database so that it will truly be useful to readers.”

Source: Derek Willis, “The canvas for CAR” (2007)

“News applications”

“a large web-based interactive database that tells a journalistic story using software instead of words and pictures.”

— Scott Klein, Propublica

News applications

Some characteristics of effective news apps:

Near vs far: the Martini-glass narrative

Highlight the important views before handing over control.

Source: Edward Segel and Jeffrey Heer, “Narrative Visualization: Telling Stories with Data”


How fast is the London Fire Brigade (near you)


London’s graduate renting crisis Map

Context calculators

Will you be a Georgian?

Social media integration

Twitter IPO calculator

Social media integration

How much is my personal data worth?

What we need

Public data that is:

  • high-quality
  • free to use
  • fast to obtain
  • analysable
  • machine-readable
Independent analysis is non-obvious to some!
Source: NHS Prescription Data

Data journalists are weird...
We don't like this:
Source: ONS

We prefer this:

Source: ONS

(Except this)

Source: ONS

This is even better:

Source: ONS

This is amazing!

Source: ONS

What’s next?

Every table, every ward: 134,567 census maps

Source: Alex Singleton, Census Open Atlas Project (ONS data)

Mass-produced interactives

Source: James Trimble, UK Data Explorer (ONS data)

Automated stories

Source: Washington Post


Source: LA Times (Image: @BennySP, Twitter)