Since 2011 when LA NACION Data was launched as an open data journalism initiative, its strategy has been the same: to do data journalism AND to open data.
The vision we have is that each set of data that is published means that more knowledge is released.
The first step to make datasets famous is to become open data USERS. And if there is no open data, no problem, we need to become PRODUCERS and transform from closed formats to open data. We have to find and convert public information, so we file FOIA requests, we use more than 8 OCR Engines combined with processes that automatize the feed from that closed PDF to a database adding rows in a database per month or daily, and we even type. We also host civic marathons for opening data. Beside publishing products and services, we attended every launch of a data portal hosted by government ministries.
The following Examples are included with additional links with behind the scenes information.
Examples of opening data as PRODUCERS either via typing or scraping, all with Open Data to Download:
1) Where and Why energy cuts off in Buenos Aires: scraping 4 websites every day during a whole year
2) One-third of the Congress members don’t have a College Degree
3) International travels of representatives and senators
4) 2017 Elections: who enters and who is left out of the new Congress?
Opening data From Print Copies using FOIA:
5) Life insurance of the crew members of the submarin ARA San Juan
6) How do we make information on salaries and retirement pensions of ex-officers available?
Examples of OPEN DATA as USERS:
7) Mortage Loan Simulator: using each major bank interest rates via Central Bank or Argentina
8) The rush hours of the subway are different to the ones established by the government
We continue to update 9) our long-term plaforms: Congresoscope, Daily “Data Ready” Series of Economic Indicators, Open Declaration of Assets and the Rankings Platform.
Finally, we hosted a local edition event in Buenos Aires of Stanford University WiDS Conference (Women in Data Science) to promote the use of artificial intelligence ecosystem in journalism, government, NGo’s and academia.
What makes this project innovative?
We are very proud of being a media initiative producing and evangelising about open data to key players of the knowledge ecosystem (Governments, Universities, NGOS, Academia, multilateral organizations, citizenship. We talk about the importance of building together structured machine readable data from reliable sources from where every player can benefit as User and Producer of new information combining datasets. We are active participants of the national, latin american and international open data community conferences, meetups and, EVEN, Whatsapp and Telegram Groups! In our blog, site and social networks we publish and promote open data projects from Argentina and worldwide as well as open government portals launched in 2017.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
LA NACION Data was asked to present in National Congress our case as an input for the first national Transparency Law. We interact frequently with data portals responsibles giving feedback on datasets and this helps them ask the data producer from different agencies to repair or re process datasets. We actively participate and support hacktivism and open data movements including hosting Women in Data Science event from Stanford University in Buenos Aires. And also attending the Media Party of Hacks Hackers, AbreLatam, Con Datos, the Open Contracting Movement and the Open Data Day. We were invited as speakers in the “Argentina Abierta” first official open government and open data event to show and tell how media can be and help others become open data “users”.
Source and methodology
AN INTEGRATED WORKFLOW to optimize research and use of multiple sources plus team work for getting data, analysing and visualising projects.
Every monday we have our Data team meeting, and every day a 10 minutes stand up meeting . One member of our team participates in the morning newsroom meeting, producing or facilitating data solutions for all LA NACION platforms, including TV. On a weekly basis we meet with dataviz and editorial team in our “weekly planning” meeting. We participate in metrics and analytics team and in the “new formats” team also in weekly basis