Project description

Datajournalism.tools is a quick and easy guide to find relevant tools to analyze and visualize data, both for beginners and more experienced.

What makes this project innovative?

There are so many tools out there to analyze and visualize data, but particularly for beginning data journalists it difficult to know what tools are most relevant and easy to use. This project selects relevant tools, based on the user’s experience and what the tool needs to solve, whether that is analyze, clean, collect or visualize data.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

With an average of 1600 visitors each month; the site provides guidance to starters in the field of data journalism. The website is embedded in the curriculum of different journalism schools in the Netherlands; providing students guidance finding the data tools they need. The website was acknowledged by the Dutch Press Fund as a relevant and easy-to- use tool for beginning data journalists.

Source and methodology

This project started as a collaboration between Winny Media, a freelance datajournalist and the research centre for Cross Media Journalism at the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Based on the experience of the data journalist and research results of a two-year project on data visualizations, it was clear that many beginning datajournalists struggle with finding and using tools. While there are many available, many are not easy to use or access. We started a website, with a primary focus on beginning data journalists, both at j-schools and journalists at newsrooms. After categorizing hundreds of data journalism tools - creating a data journalism tools database in the process; we selected the most beginner-friendly and free tools. The team wrote a description for every tool, including links to examples and tutorials wherever possible. With the content ready, the website was created. The process included a round of user tests to enhance the user interface where necessary. In an effort to use the knowledge of the crowd, users can suggest tools through an online form. The team continuously updates the website.

Technologies Used

The website is build using Wordpress and features as a customised Wordpress Theme. The user interface with which users can select tools is a custom build Wordpress plugin.

Project members

Yael de Haan - project management Renée van der Nat - research Bouwe van der Molen - illustrations Michael Schuijff - animation, web development Winny de Jong - research, web development

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