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#Tip of the day from Journalism.co.uk – using spreadsheets for data stories

December 7th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Data

Poynter has a helpful lesson in Excel and other spreadsheet software for journalists dealing with data.

The post explains how to split names in a single column to two columns, for example.

Poynter’s post on how journalists can use Excel to organise data for stories is at this link.

There will be a workshop on data journalism – led by Simon Rogers, editor of the Guardian’s Datastore and Datablog – at Journalism.co.uk’s news:rewired – media in motion conference for journalists. The news:rewired agenda is at this link.

Tipster: Sarah Marshall

If you have a tip you would like to submit to us at Journalism.co.uk email us using this link– we will pay a fiver for the best ones published.

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Innovations in Journalism – EditGrid

Each week we give technology developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. This week it’s data as journalism with online spreadsheets from EditGrid.

image of editgrid logo

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
Hello, I’m David Lee, from EditGrid.

EditGrid is an online spreadsheet service that does for numbers what blogs and wikis do for text.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
It can be useful for journalist in multiple ways: managing simple lists and mini-databases so that the data can be shared, collaborated and accessed anywhere (including iPhone and Facebook) and publishing of tables and charts.

The Daily Kos has used us to publish quick and easy charts of US primary election results.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
We keep enhancing the sharing and publishing capabilities to make EditGrid more powerful.

In the future it will be the platform to access live data (financial and much more). Users already created live financial spreadsheets attracting tens of thousands of users and million of views.

4) Why are you doing this?
Spreadsheet is a technology area in which the fundamentals haven’t been changed for more than 20 years.

Now we can make online spreadsheet running in a web browser which multiple people can edit at the same time with changes synchronising in real-time.

We see much potential in it and believe it will revolutionise the ways people use spreadsheets.

5) What does it cost to use it?
Free of charge for personal users, US$5 per user for organisations.

6) How will you make it pay?
We offer most of the features for free but we charge organisations $5/user/month and provide more administration and security features.

Currently, we’re more interested in growing our base to hundreds-of-thousands of users, we may charge for future value-added features and/or premium data access but what our users can enjoy for free now will remain free forever. :)

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