The Information Age is all about data… lots and lots and lots of it. It’s everywhere: data about computer use and cell phone calls, family dynamics and customer demographics, weather patterns and diseases. If you want to know how many people got the flu in Minneapolis, or used a credit card in Missouri, or called Hong Kong from Marina del Rey, you can probably find out. Collecting data is easier today than it has ever been. But as the numbers accrue, analyzing them has gotten more and more complicated.
Numerical data is so ubiquitous that it’s no longer just the purview of statisticians or analysts. Journalists are increasingly charged with transforming data sets into interesting narratives. But in many cases, it is no longer possible to see that narrative in a raw data file with the naked eye. So journalists need parsing tools to tease out stories, which means they need... keep reading