Blog: Chris Mercerjust-drinks gets to grips with data

Chris Mercer | 16 June 2011

I spent yesterday on a data journalism course in the hope of picking up some tips on making data more accessible to you and presenting it more imaginatively.

Data journalism (you mean counting? - j-drinks Ed) is evolving as an essential skill as us hacks are increasingly faced with tables of statistics, many of which appear to contradict each other. It's also important that we can present that data to you - the readers - in an interesting and useful way.

Thanks to the Oracle also known as Kevin Anderson, I've picked up a few handy tips and tools for improving the way that we handle and present data, including this timeline on the Foster's demerger. We'll be playing around with these over the next few weeks.

There's another one here and also here.

As one example (albeit a rather pithy one), below is a word cloud that I've created from Diageo's half-year results conference back in February. The most used words are the bigger ones.

Interesting to see "emerging" "markets" and "growth" coming out on top. Is Diageo trying to tell us something? I note that the word Greece, by contrast, is tiny.


Diageo Half-Year Results Call, February 2011 Many Eyes


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