In 1921, Guardian editor CP Scott wrote that ‘comment is free, but facts are sacred’. Fast forward to 2013, and the publishing of those facts has evolved into a new type of journalism; data journalism.
This data journalism handbook says that by using ‘databases of — for example — census data or survey data, journalists are able to move beyond the reporting of specific, isolated events to providing a context which gives them meaning’.
As we’ve mentioned before, in today’s online world brands are becoming publishers. A website is no longer just an electronic version of a sales brochure and as a result, data journalism is not only relevant to traditional journalists, but to anyone involved in marketing or managing a brands online presence.
So, how can you turn survey results into data-driven stories?
- Pick out any interesting outliers within your results and run with them.
- Have you collected qualitative data as well as quantitative data? If yes then harness comments and opinion to help bring your story to life.
- If a particular action has influenced the results of your study or survey then consider this as the lead angle for your story.
- Are there any results that you feel people will connect with emotionally? If yes then these should be highlighted.
- If they’re powerful enough, then let the numbers speak for themselves. Numbers are a universal language that everyone can understand and relate to.
- Consider using video explanations and charts alongside written word to help recipients of your information grasp ‘the big picture’.