5 Essential Tools You Need as a Data Journalist


5 Essential Tools You Need as a Data Journalist
Photo by Firmbee.com / Unsplash

In old times, data journaling required the use of handwritten means to track, analyze, and reflect information. This method proved tedious and time-consuming ushering in a new era of efficiency that leveraged cutting-edge tools for streamlined data workflows.

No longer confined to these manual processes, data journalists can now make efficient use of their time and transform raw numbers into clear, impactful stories.

In this article, learn insights into the top tools data journalists use in their day-to-day journaling activity.

1. Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a cloud-based spreadsheet application that allows users to create, edit, and collaborate on spreadsheets online. It offers a wide range of features for organizing and analyzing data, including formulas, charts, and conditional formatting.

How it Works:

Users can import data into Google Sheets from various sources, such as CSV files or databases. Once the data is imported, they can manipulate it using functions and formulas to derive insights. Collaboration features enable multiple users to work on the same spreadsheet simultaneously, making it ideal for team-based data journalism projects.

2. Datawrapper

This is a web-based tool specifically designed for creating interactive charts and maps. It offers a user-friendly interface that allows journalists to visualize data quickly and effectively.

How it Works:

You can upload their datasets directly into Datawrapper or connect to external data sources such as Google Sheets or Excel. The platform provides a variety of chart types and customization options, allowing journalists to tailor their visualizations to suit their storytelling needs. Once visualized, it can be embedded into articles or shared via a URL.

3. Flourish

Flourish is a data visualization platform that empowers journalists to create stunning interactive visualizations without the need for coding skills. It offers a library of customizable templates and tools for storytelling.

How it Works:

One can import data into Flourish from various sources, including spreadsheets and APIs. The platform provides a drag-and-drop interface for building visualizations, with options to customize colours, fonts, and animations. Journalists then embed the visualizations into their articles or presentations.

4. Datamatic

Datamatic is a data visualization tool that focuses on simplicity and ease of use. It offers a range of chart types and customization options for journalists to create informative visualizations quickly.

How it Works:

Upload datasets into Datamatic and choose from various chart types, including bar charts, line charts, and pie charts. The platform provides intuitive controls for customizing the appearance of the visualizations, such as labels, colors, and annotations. Once created, visualizations can be exported or embedded into your articles.

5. Infogram

This data visualization platform offers a range of chart types, maps, and dashboards. It is designed to help journalists tell compelling stories through data-driven visualizations.

How it Works:

Import data into Infogram from various sources, including spreadsheets and cloud storage services. The platform provides a drag-and-drop interface for building visualizations, with options to customize colors, fonts, and layouts. Journalists can then share their visualizations via social media or embed them into articles.


These tools for data journalism do not just collect and research data but also provide journalists with the necessary resources to present their data in a concise and informative manner.

Whether it’s creating interactive charts, visualizations, or maps, these tools empower journalists to uncover stories hidden within the data and communicate them effectively to their audience.


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