Thursday, February 25, 2016

App named Dateproofer helps journalists quickly and accurately check data for errors

A new computer application can help journalists verify data they collect and assemble. Dataproofer, created by online news outlet Vocativ, "allows users to easily spot if their data sets are high-quality, accurate or have misinformation," Adreana Young reports for Editor & Publisher. "Dataproofer works like spell check for spreadsheets, said Gerald Rich, creator of Dataproofer and interactive producer with Vocativ. Simply input your data into a spreadsheet, drag and drop the spreadsheet into the app, and it searches for and highlights duplicated rows, missing column headers, bad URLs, incorrect geo-data—such as incorrect longitude and latitude for locations—a value that is too high and more."

Dataproofer, which received a $35,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Prototype Fund, "allows reporters to look at the data critically and decide whether it’s good to go or if more reporting is necessary," Young writes. "It also allows for more accurate and quicker fact checking than a reporter or editor could do alone."

Rich told Young, “The goal of this is to not only making this whole process a little more transparent for anyone who gets the data, and that could be a reporter, that could be an editor or someone, but to make sure as soon as you get this data you can give it a quick once over and see what’s there and what’s not there." (Read more)

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