The Guardian Data Store


The idea behind the Guardian’s Data Store builds on the British newspaper’s motto: “Facts are sacred.”

But as its editor Simon Rogers explains, making sense of the deluge of information and data in a trustworthy way is an increasingly important service that journalists can offer.

Launched in December 2010, the Data Store is an online directory providing a selection of datasets on topics of public interest (government data, education, culture, population) and tools to explore them, along with demonstrations of original or guest visualisatons of the datasets.

The Data Store also offers a selection of data analyses published on the Datablog.

The Featured applications section presents noteworthy applications and demonstrates them on a dataset. It showcases applications and their output: infographics, interactive displays, and articles that use data to tell a story.

Datasets from governments around the world are accessible through keyword search. The world government data section provides a collection of over 2000 datasets.

For journalists, this structured directory allows access to data in one place. The data can be downloaded in easy to process formats (Excel files) and converted into charts using free tools such as Many Eyes.

The initiative can be considered a curatorial approach to journalism whereby users are provided with a selection of datasets by means of the Data Store, and with tools by means of the Open Platform section, to produce their own stories: it “directs readers to the best datasets of content; educate them in use; and enhance the news experience,” by turning the release of a news item into a starting point for public debate.

Nato operations in Libya: data journalism breaks down which country does what, 22 May 2011

In 2010, a global scan made of computational journalism initiatives identified the Guardian as best practice for digital news providers in this field. (The Promise of Computational Journalism, by Daniel, A., Flew, T. & Spurgeon, C. 2010)

Further information:

The Guardian Data Store on Twitter
Examples on Flickr of data visualisations made possible thanks to the Guardian Data Store

A presentation by Guardian Data Store and Datablog editor Simon Rogers at the EJC’s Data Driven Journalism roundtable in Amsterdam, August 2010.