In a talk from Glyn Mottershead this week we learnt about data analysis. I thought doing a journalism course I would have safely got away from the nightmare of GCSE mathematics and analysis of journal sales from my previous job, but unfortunately no, it seems data analysis will follow me wherever I go.
It is not all bad though, turns out that in between nursing wounded soldiers Florence Nightingale was doing some pretty impressive data analysis, recording the soldiers causes of death.
Nightingale knew that data analysis was an excellent resource for looking at the bigger picture.
And that is exactly what data analysis allows us to do as journalists.
A more recent example of data analysis is the MP’s expenses scandal. Hundreds of people were slaving away over data to find the gems of expenses claims such as duck houses and moats. A fantastic story that caused wave upon wave of uproar and controversy, that wouldn’t have materialised without data analysis.