data graphs
Credit: image from Pixabay

Journalists can no longer escape the fact that they are constantly dealing with data, yet it is important to figure out which data is most accurate and dependable. That's why it's useful to create data biographies, which means looking at the background of every information source.

In this article from the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), data scientist and founder of Datassist Heather Krause explains in five steps how to get started with putting together a data biography.

She advises applying the 5 W's to your data source to understand it: Where did it come from? Who collected it? How was it collected? Why was it collected? Krause includes real examples of data biographies, such as the data used in a story about violence against women.

There is also a video explaining the process from an online data journalism course Krause led with Alberto Cairo, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the School of Communication of the University of Miami.

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).