Data Best Practices and Apps of the Future

Our own Chris Amico describes data apps  as “[tools] for both the public and reporters that enables open-ended exploration of an on-going news story or issue.” – Chris Amico

Matt Stiles explains data best practices, apps of the future, and how you can request your very own custom built data app in our latest data webinar:

News App Basics:

  • Information
  • Search
  • Tables
  • Visualization

Good Examples:

How will we decide what to build?

  • News: Is there a story?
  • Network: Will other stations benefit?
  • ROI: Will people use it?
  • Station plan: vision, goals and specs.

Station Plan

  • Guide: Early consultation with NPR about ideas, calendar. Station writes “story” about app and basic specs.
  • Package: What stories, document might accompany apps?
  • Promotion: How will we make sure people see the work?


  • Clarity: Same as a text story. Be careful not to mislead, overwhelm, confuse readers.
  • Ethics: Micro vs. aggregated. Is it fair to name individuals, organizations in data without their comment?
  • “News” vs. Transparency: What’s our mission? Not data for data’s sake.

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