DataSourceNJ Reinvigorates Local Investigative Journalism

Data Capture

There is an abundance of free data sets available to journalists, other professionals, and the public. Township budgets, property taxes, campaign contributions, census, and Covid-19 data are examples of available data sets of value to New Jersey communities. DataSourceNJ will survey and assess data sets for relevance, reliability, completeness, and similarity to and/or overlap with other data sets. Software will be deployed to retrieve valuable data for deposit into the NJ Data Repository.

Expert Working Groups

DataSourceNJ will establish an Expert Working Group for each core topic area to be investigated (e.g., electoral, water quality, policing, government performance). These working groups will be composed of cross-functional experts necessary to deliver complete and effective guidance to data scientists to realize the NJ Data Repository and journalists to tailor the data findings to stories of importance in localities. Guidance includes identifying relationships between different data sets, insights to data modeling designs, analytical and presentation formats of greatest value to journalists and other end users, and suggestions to journalists about information of relevance that the data doesn’t address.

Data Analyses & Presentations

DataSourceNJ’s partner, the New Jersey Institute of Technology Ying Wu College of Computing, will integrate third-party software tools with its proprietary coding to produce and test new, credible, extensible, and reproducible computational data analysis and manipulation methods. Big Data techniques will be applied to discover trends, patterns and predictions not apparent by traditional data analysis. Via an easy-to-use interface, Journalists and others will select the analytical and presentation formats most desirable for the projects at hand.