When it comes to using data in the newsroom, spending a few minutes to structure your thinking before diving into a data set can make all the difference in getting actionable results afterwards.
At the Financial Times, our data team fields questions from individual reporters, news desks, the audience engagement team, and managers from all parts of the business. To manage that intake and ensure data is effectively used, the team uses a Google form to help those making the request think through what they are asking for. It includes two simple, yet absolutely critical, prompts:
There are two parallel questions we can use in the newsroom to ensure our answers are useful: why and how.
1. What is the question you are trying to answer?
2. What action(s)/decision(s) will be driven by the answer?
ADVERTISEMENT It’s our job to help others in the newsroom
Without a doubt, this is an excellent starting point for any good data query (which is any question that can be answered with analytics). But using data effectively is still quite new in newsrooms. Many reporters and editors are not familiar with structuring their thinking this way. For instance, many reporters and editors ask about the metrics they are familiar with (page views, shares, etc) instead of being open to new types of measurement and analysis. Additionally, using a Google form (instead of just emailing or asking directly) is outside of the norm for many.
As a result, the
Read more here: http://mediashift.org/2017/11/ask-better-questions-newsroom-analytics/