Project description

I’ve been working in the field of data journalism since 2016, after my graduation in Science in Communication, with a thesis titled "Data Journalism: the precision journalism in the age of Big Data". Exactly because of my thesis I started analysing and visualizing data, learning Tableau for this purpose. I published my first article and visualization on Il Sole24Ore before of my graduation, thanks to Andrea Gianotti and Luca Tremolada. I’ve published more than 60 articles on Il Sole 24 Ore and something also on other newspaper website, such as La Gazzetta dello Sport, covering different topics, from politics to cinema, to sports and more. I work combining tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Tableau for visualization (Currently I’m also a Tableau Ambassador) and Alteryx for scraping, data cleansing, data preparation, predictive and spatial analysis. As data journalist and storyteller, my mission is to create data-driven interactive content, using my skills to clean and analyse data. For me the design of the visualization is really important, something beetween science and art. Every image, every visual representation brings a story. We can create accurate dataviz from the data point of view, but we need more to communicate what data are telling us. Especially regarding data journalism, where we need to talk to unskilled people, to as many people as possible. My purpose is not only to give the information. I want to try to have people play with my data while they’re going trough the story that I want to tell them.

What makes this project innovative?

My portfolio projects cover a wide range of topics and approaches: I wrote about politics and general elections (for example covering italian and french elections), but also about cinema (predicting the results of the Oscars and visualizing Nolan's filmography and "The good, the bad and the ugly"), sports, music, social issues, terrorism, migration, climate change and several other topics. All my work are following a research of a perfect combination of science and art, of data, storytelling and visualization. Data journalism gives us a great opportunity to for uncovering hidden issues and stories, maybe hidden in a plain sight. At the same time I'll try to "think out of the box" and use illustrations, colors and shapes to reaveal patterns and insight in an effective manner. In this way the story can be more clear and attractive for the readers.

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

Is difficult to understand how much can be the impact of these stories, but is always pretentius to think to change politics or people's lives with out articles. Anyway our try, as journalists, is to find the stories that are hiding in a plain sight, waiting for us to uncover them with the new skills that data journalism needs and looking for other ways to inform the public in the best manner, helping our readers to better understand the topic we're covering. The main judges are still individual readers and their feedback.

Source and methodology

I'll always try to follow the principles of a transparent and reproducible methodology. Most of the time it can be useful to start from official data sources, crossing them with different sources to find correlations and interesting stories. I use also Alteryx to scrape the web and collect data, then to clean and prepare them to be visualized. The last part of the job is find an effective visualization.

Technologies Used

With a humanistic background, I'm not able to code and I always worked as a freelancer, without a team, following all the process by myself. Obviously without a big budget, I take advantage from the tools that I use in my experience as Business Intelligence consultant: Alteryx and Tableau. The main tool is Tableau Public, the first tool of visualization of my career. I visualize data combining these tools with graphic and illustration tools, cause I consider visualization one of the main part of the job of a data journalist. Maybe somethimes understimated compared with the back-end data preparation, I consider visualization one of the most important skills that modern journalism have to reach more people as possible, make interactive and sharable content, change the way we make storytelling to create data stories that can influence and drive change.

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