DataBasic: A suite of data tools for the beginner

Easy-to-use web tools that help data newbies (and the more experienced) grasp & learn the basics

Matt Carroll
Jan 12, 2016 · 8 min read
  • Same Diff compares two or more text files and tells the user how similar or different they are. Of the three, this tool offers the most intriguing possibilities. For example, it could be used to analyze how a politician’s stump speech evolves over time. Or how witness’ statements have changed, or how any particular set of statements has changed.
  • WTFcsv is more traditional, in that it’s geared towards spreadsheets, the data maven’s basic tool. It’s designed for the data newbie who has no idea what to do with a spreadsheet. It helps a user peek behind all those columns and rows through some simple analysis. BTW, “Csv” refers to a common text file that can easily be imported into a spreadsheet program like Excel. “WTF” stands for … well, you know.

Word Counter: A ‘word cloud’ is only the beginning

Word Counter takes text and analyzes it in several ways. It creates your basic word cloud, but also does word counts, in several interesting ways.

… SameDiff: Let’s compare speeches by Obama & Trump

WTFcsv: Helping the beginner database maven

Overall, the DataBasic suite

I like all three tools. All are all simple to use. The design and user experience is great. “Intuitive” is the key word. I had no trouble importing files. My favorite was SameDiff, because I can see how useful this would be for even an experienced reporter, but I can see how all three would benefit wanna-be data reporters.

3 to read

A weekly trio of stories, videos, and data viz about the news media. Curated by Matt Carroll, journalism professor at Northeastern University.

Matt Carroll

Written by

Journalism prof at Northeastern University. Ran Future of News initiative at the MIT Media Lab; ex-Boston Globe data reporter & member of Spotlight

3 to read

3 to read

A weekly trio of stories, videos, and data viz about the news media. Curated by Matt Carroll, journalism professor at Northeastern University.