How can students use Datawrapper – the free Pro Bono offering available for journalism shools, small non-profit newsrooms and investigative journalists? One perspective here – a brief interview with Anthony Dedousis, a student from the US. Anthony registered in mid 2014.

What is your role and why do you care about data?

I’m a first-year MBA student at Chicago Booth who’s interested in a career in sports business strategy.  In the past year, I’ve contributed articles on sports business and player analysis for an NBA blog and a baseball blog.  My work helps showcase my knowledge of both business and sports, as well as my ability to draw meaningful conclusions from datasets.  This has been tremendously helpful to me as I pursue roles in the industry.

What is your role and why do you care about data?

Sports fans are, by nature, an opinionated bunch.  Effective data visualization makes it easier for readers to form well-informed opinions and conclusions based on a complicated set of data.  Check out the graphs in this article on Nelson Cruz, an outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles. They help explain that his power-hitting streak early last season was based on factors that are hard to sustain over the long term, while a subsequent cold streak reflected more temporary factors and a small sample size.  The side-by-side visualization of stacked bars helps drive the point home.

What is your recommendation to other sports journalists for better uses of data?

It’s a cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words, but often, concepts that are hard to articulate in writing can be illustrated effectively with the right chart or graph.  The challenge for sports journalists is figuring out which data display formats most effectively satisfy sports’ fans natural curiosity about numbers and player statistics.  In my experience, writers who experiment with different formats find the right answer through a little trial and error.