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News numeracy: online tools for reporting numbers

August 11th, 2009Posted by in Handy tools and technology

Following on from Steve Harrison’s excellent two-part guide on news numeracy, ‘How to: get to grips with numbers as a journalist’, here’s a round-up of some of the best online tools and sites for journalists when reporting figures and stats:

  1. By uploading text or tables you can create simple piecharts to more complex maps or bubble charts. There are also options for text-based visualisations.
      • For creating charts try:
      1. Using a spreadsheet in Google Docs – you can highlight a table of data and select from a range of simple 2d and 3d graphs and charts.
      2. Online spreadsheet service Zoho Sheet (looks similar to Google Docs and requires registration, but claims to allow integration with Microsoft Powerpoint and Excel)
      3. Fusion Charts – for creating interactive, flash charts
      1. Everything you could ever want to know – and more – about using Excel spreadsheets for data analysis and number crunching.
      1. Can be used to track multiple sets of data and present them in a combination of charts, lists and graphics.
      • Helpful lists
      1. Journalism trainer Mindy McAdams has a great round-up of data visualisation resources, including this list of 175+ data and information visualization examples and resources.
      2. 10,000 words offers some inspirational infographics and a ‘how to’ on creating charts.

      Any other tools that you use? Let us know and we’ll add them to the list.

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