Understanding of statistics and
Knowing how to clean, parse and query data
Creating data visualization by using either tools or scripts
Most Data Journalists are liberal arts majors, one of the few data disciplines that come from a B.A. background. It’s directly attributable to their primary work responsibilities that include writing and editing. Even so, Data Journalists also need to be stat-savvy, too.
For example, your numbers may show that your best prospects have common traits like being over 60 years old with a desire for travel. A Data Journalist can connect those dots to create the data story. They put into writing what’s really going on, using the data to help you see the right connections. Once you’re aware of those relationships, you can build your future strategy with more confidence and purpose.
Knowing how to read statistics is a primary advantage for Data Journalists. After all, they have to know how to read the output and analyses from a variety of platforms. And from there, they must be able to interpret what the information reveals, recognize the possibilities and then capture the high points in writing.
Throughout their careers, Data Journalists develop a broad knowledge base, especially how understanding the data and applying its findings can truly drive buyer behavior. Like most jobs in the 21st century, they have to remain students for life, as technology is at the core of what they do, and how well they do it.
After graduation, Data Journalists may pursue more technical, specialized training. For example, they may want to hone their natural abilities to understand basic relational statistics that can tell a more three-dimensional story.
Does data support the gut reaction? Oftentimes, the Data Journalist starts with a question and does the research to find the answers.
Many times, the data is out there, but it’s a matter of understanding what to do with it that creates the defining moment of proof. One such methodology is simple linear regression. Simply put, its application determines the relationship between two defined items. How is that simple? This type of statistical analysis uses only two items, rather than a handful, to establish an if/then relationship.
Data Journalists will then use this statistical method to prove select cause/effect markers. What happens when there are more than two items to compare? Data Journalists acquire a few programming skills to help them uncover more possibilities.
When Data Journalists have to dig through information to find exactly what they need, it’s helpful if they can leverage the appropriate technology. This is why they often learn Python or MySQL, or leverage mature tools such as Alteryx.
Having these data wrangling skills under their belts can help them gather preliminary information, sort and discard intelligently or even supplement what they have to further their findings. The key for Data Journalists is discovering how the information relates to and answers their initial questions.
Great Data Journalists aren’t going to take their initial findings at face value. What they want to know is whether the uncovered information stands up to additional questioning.
Being able to present data visually can help all members of your audience, technical and non-technical, to understand what all of those numbers mean. Data Journalists can use those visual aids to emphasize the key takeaways and deliver a more compelling story.
So often, data isn’t coming from just one pipeline. There are multiple sources, and in multiple formats. How do Data Journalists bring it all together to create a meaningful understanding?
Artificial intelligence (AI) utilizes algorithms based on logic and data patterns to solve specific problems. Data Journalists use AI to sort through mountains of information to discover patterns and trends, helping them understand more about customer behaviors. Most importantly, however, AI automates a very tedious, time-consuming effort, allowing Data Journalists to focus on the findings, once they know how to use AI to their benefit.
Chat bots are a prime example – the information gleaned from an AI chat bot with your customers can tell you more than a simple survey because customers can type in their own responses. While it makes gleaning the specifics more difficult, the results can be much more revealing. Data Journalists who can query a chat bot’s conversation history using software, such as BotFuel, will find a gold mine of information. Driverless AI is another example. Driverless AI provides insights into connections that humans are unlikely to identify.
Data Journalism is a relatively new field, but as technology continues to advance, demand is expected to grow. See what Data Journalists are worth:
Wyzoo Data Journalists find the "data story" from AI output to facilitate executive level decisions that enhance business performance.
Wyzoo’s Data Journalists can change the abstract into the concrete, by proving those hunches and disproving faulty if/then statements with data insights.
They can transform the way you do business by using your data to help you uncover real truths about how your customers do business, how their transactions define their company and ways they can further capitalize on their successes.