New service enables collaboration and discussion around data driven stories
Q: How does your service exactly help journalists?
A: Let’s say that you are working on something where data is going to run the story, a story on municipal spending or the environment. Right away you are going to need the data, a place to collaborate with the people who are producing the data or helping you to clean it or present it in a form that is suitable for your story and then analyze it. We want to give you a space that is suitable for all those steps. You may also have other research materials. You may have documents or other articles, email conversations or other conversations. You can attach all that to the data as well. You have the attributions that tie to the original source, you can see who put the data up and when and you have a way to trail all the events. It is very transparent.
Q: What about security?
A: It is encrypted. It is running in your own servers. We are dealing with people’s confidential information. We are not naive about this. There are some people who don’t want to save it in their own servers. They don’t want to store it in Africa or wherever they are working. If that is the case you can work with us to see where your file is going to be saved physically and from a jurisdiction point of view.
A: You embed a link to the data itself and takes you to the public buzzdata room that you have set up. This may represent the final output of your research process. People can then look at the data in its entirety. They can talk about it. There is a social engagement side to it, too. They can make comments. They can attach other information to your information. They may create an infographic that analyzes your data differently. You can see all this happening and you say ‘Oh the story has changed.’