#newsrw: 12 tips on tools in the data journalist’s toolkit

Many Eyes

Speakers at news:rewired – noise to signal, which was held at Thomson Reuters on Friday, shared numerous tips on tools that are of use to the data journalist.

Here we have picked out the 12 key tools recommended to help journalists develop their data stories.

1. Google Docs: Google spreadsheets can take data from live feeds, be shared and published. Tipster: Kevin Anderson;

2. Google Fusion Tables: A data visualisation tool. Tipsters: Simon Rogers, Conrad Quilty-Harper, Alastair Dant;

3. Outwit Hub: A plugin which works with Firefox, which allows you to pull in links, with the URLs, from any search and then export it as a Google Spreadsheet or SQL. Tipster: Kevin Anderson;

4. ThinkMap: A visual thesaurus. Tipster: Kevin Anderson;

5. Zeemaps: Software to create interactive maps. Tipster: Kevin Anderson;

6. ManyEyes, pictured above, a data visualisation tool from IBM. Tipster: Simon Rogers;

7. Tableau: Data analysis and visualisation software. Tipster: Alastair Dant;

8. Dipity: A tool to create timelines. Tipster: Alastair Dant;

9. OpenCalais: Thomson Reuters’ “rapidly growing toolkit of capabilities that allow you to readily incorporate state-of-the-art semantic functionality within your blog, content management system, website or application”. Tipster: Kevin Anderson;

10. OUseful Blog: A blog “trying to find useful things to do with emerging technologies in open education”. Tipster: Kevin Anderson;

11. Maths: “The best bit of your toolkit is understanding a bit of maths.” Tipster: James Ball;

12. Excel spreadsheets: Learn how to manipulate text in Excel. Tipster: Martin Stabe.

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