I am not a journalist, but it seems to me that a large part of your work, and indeed a large part of the work of a scientist or an analyst, is in asking the right questions of a source, and knowing how to frame those questions.The data journalist knows how to ask questions of data.
Also – high incidence of crime around police stations (no location, so police station used as default location); Russell Square as a murder hotspot.
Another nice example of this, and one used by many advocates of data visualisation, is the famous example of Anscombe’s quartet, for sets of two dimensional data with some interesting properties.
For example, many of the “classic” summary statistics for the corresponding columns in these data sets are to all intents and purposes the same.
But when we look at the datasets as a set of scatterplots, we see how the data tells very different stories.
People learn the skills they need, as they need them.
Data wrangling with open
Dept of Communication & Systems
The Open University, UK
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Google Spreadsheets as a database