Data Journalism

Chris Knox

Data Editor at the New Zealand Herald (in August 2020)

29 July, 2020


  • Figure.NZ
    • New Zealand’s best collection of data

      We’re always here to help journalists find and understand data, too. We can answer questions on here [twitter], or feel free to email us on

  • Workbench

Create a chart in Workbench

Load from URL

If its from add data.csv

Remove unneeded columns

Usually you just need to keep the ones that have don’t have all the same value


Usually data from Figure.NZ will need a long to wide transform

Usually data analysts like long form data and plotting software likes wide data

Row is often time

Variable column is the column that contains the values that will become the columns


Workbench charts are a bit limited

Export to data wrapper

Share with the world

Export from the Reshape

Baby names

Chart choice

  • Different charts will highlight different aspects of your data more effectively.
  • Choose the chart that shows the aspect of the data that you are interested in
  • Line and Bar charts are often a safe choice
  • Take care with maps and pie charts

FT Visual Vocabulary