July 14, 2015

Tool Guide

Data Storytelling Resource List

This is our list of recommended tools to help you collect, extract, clean, manage and visualize data. There are many more free tools and platforms available online; these are just a few of our favourites here at Bournemouth University’s Datalabs.

Collecting Data

This set of tools and platforms enables you to collect data from the web and social media, as well as to file requests for public data that is not yet open.

Tools to bring data to you
These tools will deliver information on specific topics or websites to you.
RSS feeds: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/BIOS/rss.html
Google News Alert: https://www.google.co.uk/alerts
Notify you if a website changes: https://www.changedetection.com/

Getting data from social media
These tools will help you pull data from social media.
http://www.gramfeed.com/ Instagram only
https://www.dataminr.com/ Twitter only
http://topsy.com/ Twitter only
http://www.samdesk.io/ General social media (Not Free)
https://geofeedia.com/ Location based social media monitoring
https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/ Twitter only
http://www.wolframalpha.com/examples/WeatherAndMeteorology.html Weather Info
http://keyhole.co/ Twitter and Instagram

Freedom of Information requests
These websites are easy to use and can help you file Freedom of Information requests.
EU – http://www.wobbing.eu/
USA – https://www.muckrock.com/foi/list/
UK – https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/

Scraping Data

Scraping is a way to get data off of websites in spreadsheet formats.

http://tabula.technology/ Beginner

https://import.io/ – Beginner

http://www.outwit.com/ – Intermediate

https://import.io/advanced-data-platform Advanced

https://scraperwiki.com/ Advanced

Cleaning Data

These tools will help you prepare your data for analysis by cleaning up repetition, spelling and formatting. They also have more powerful functions for analysis.

http://openrefine.org/index.html Beginner through Advanced

https://www.detective.io/tour/ Beginner

Visualising Data

Communicating data through visuals can help with clarity, comprehension and making comparisons. These tools will help you liven up your datasets and make them more engaging for the audience.

Word Clouds

A simple to use visual for identifying word trends and patterns in text based data.

http://www.wordle.net/ Beginner

http://worditout.com/word-cloud/make-a-new-one Beginner

https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/#%2F%2Fwww.jasondavies.com%2Fwordcloud%2Fabout%2F Beginner


Present your information visually with these simple to use tools, perfect for beginners.

https://infogr.am Beginner

http://piktochart.com/ Beginner

https://www.silk.co/home Beginner to Intermediate


Turn your chronological data into visual and interactive timelines with text, photos and videos.

http://www.dipity.com/ Beginner

http://timeline.knightlab.com/ Beginner


Tools for creating maps and showcasing location-based data.

http://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/app-list/ Beginner

http://www.dataviz.org/ Beginner

http://cartodb.com/ Beginner through Advanced

http://www.qgis.org/en/site/index.html Advanced

Graphs and Network Analysis

Useful tools for making more complex graphs and visualisations for both analysis and communicating findings.

https://public.tableau.com/s/ Beginner to Advanced

http://www.r-project.org/ Advanced

*Thanks to Malachey Brown for social media tips and Ozlem Demirkol for compiling this list!