Posted in Industry Insights

A data journalism toolkit for all

, by Patrick Maks

At the Online News Association conference in New Orleans on Thursday, The Associated Press unveiled AP DataKit, a project management tool that will make it easier for newsrooms and journalists to collaborate on data-driven journalism. 

AP DataKit is free and available to anyone to use.

It answers a significant need in the data journalism community, allowing journalists to automate important yet laborious tasks in data projects.

“DataKit has transformed the way AP’s data team works,” said Troy Thibodeaux, AP data science and news applications editor. “It lets us focus on the journalism and spend less time on rote tasks.”

He added: “We don’t have to keep making the same mundane decisions with every project – where things should go and what they should be called, how we store the data and manage the code – instead we focus on what’s unique to the story and data set at hand. It has also created a platform for seamless collaboration. Any data team member can hop into a project and feel at home; we know where everything belongs and can get to work bulletproofing the analysis.”

AP DataKit frees up journalists to cover more ground while maintaining standards of reproducibility and can be customized to accommodate individual newsroom practices.

It allows users to create projects as quickly as news breaks using Cookiecutter templates; keep all parts of a project cleanly separated, from data to code to configuration to documentation; and automate data and code syncing for storage and backup.

To learn more about AP DataKit, sign up for an AP webinar on Sept. 26.

Listen to a replay of AP Data Editor Meghan Hoyer’s presentation at the ONA conference.