R in the data journalism workflow at FiveThirtyEight

Jul 12, 2016

R has found its way into a good number of news groups who do data journalism. Andrew Flowers for FiveThirtyEight talks about how they use the statistical computing language throughout their workflow.

R is used in every step of the data journalism process: for cleaning and processing data, for exploratory graphing and statistical analysis, for models deploying in real time as and to create publishable data visualizations. We write R code to underpin several of our popular interactives, as well, like the Facebook Primary and our historical Elo ratings of NBA and NFL teams. Heck, we’ve even styled a custom ggplot2 theme. We even use R code on long-term investigative projects.

Favorites

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

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We know spending changes when you have more money. Here’s by how much.