Getting through the Business-Data-Djungle as a Journalist

Your Data Business – Series, Issue #6

We spoke with Eva Lopez. Eva is an innovation manager at DW and is also part of DW’s data journalism team. She’s fascinated by numbers – and a news junky, absorbing what’s going on in the analogue and digital world. Follow her on Twitter: @evopez.

Eva, what have you worked on lately?

Apart from my work on euBusinessGraph I have been involved in a couple of editorial projects throughout the last months. Two thinks popped up frequently that are also crucial to Screener and euBusinessGraph:

Firstly, often, when in-depth research is done, journalist encounter the challenge of telling a story and informing their audience in detail at the same time. The more complex a topic is the greater is the wish for informative sections in the article – exactly what Screener offers with the ‚infoboxes‘.

Secondly, dealing with data is crucial for journalists. However, dealing properly with data requires practise and open communication (e.g. being sensitive about when to use absolute numbers and when communicate relative frequency), in short data literacy is needed. Again, with Screener and euBusinessGraph we improve the accessibility to business data and hence support newsrooms in their development towards data related tool sets and skills.

What’s in it for me as a Journalist what really helps me in my daily work?

Journalist are detectives of information. There are multiple ways of gathering information, using business data is just one of many. However, globalization and complex business structures led to obscure information. Screener is one of the keys to shed light on business data in multiple datasets. It facilitates the journalists needs of getting a good starting point through the business-information-jungle.

How does Screener make a difference?

European business data does not follow the one and only structure. Very often the data is not collected and presented in a way it meets journalistic needs. Screener trys to solve this lack.

Eva, do you have any final thoughts you would like to share with us?

I recently discovered the Financial Times’s video series called Data Crunch (thanks @twone2). Statistics journalist Federica Cocco and data journalist John Burn-Murdoch use their super power – being capable of analysing data paired with a journalistic sense – to investigate the numbers behind the news. It’s a revealing, entertaining and nerdy video series.

For starters I recommend their piece on the numbers behind big tech’s tax avoidance.