Openbudgets.eu Tools: Journalists
Sep 15, 2017
The OpenBudgets.eu platform offers several applications that are tailored to the needs of journalists. From ready-to-use massive databases containing budget and spending data to inspiring instances of invdstigative journalism in the field of fiscal corruption, valuable resources are available. This is an overview of the available tools and their function.
Subsidystories is a database containing beneficiaries of three of the five European Structural Investment Funds (ESIF). It has been carefully collected, cleaned, and standardised by the OpenBudgets team to allow journalists deep data dives on their search for salience and malpractice. The database has been accompanied by the Storyhunt, a series of workshops with a final expedition weekend into the depths of the data. A valuable resource for investigations into corruption and financial policy.
This collection of common corruption schemata displays European processes in bribery, embezzlement, favoritism and general abuse of public resources for private gains. It is meant to be used as a resource for journalists seeking to investigate misuse of public funds. The format of the tutorials is satirical: it pretends that they are made for civil servants hoping to use public funds for personal profit. We chose satire as a tutorial genre to entice readers into actually reading the tutorials. Analyzing budget data is a rather coarse field, which can make use of a lighter tone.
The Football Tax is a journalistic investigation that traces public spending to professional football.
Budget and Spending data requires both a technical understanding and an immaculate sense of magnitude. Find out how you compare to others in your field using the Order of Magnitude Guessr.
This game is intended to elucidate the occurrence of corruption through price price rigging and other tactics related to the day-to-day business of a public official. It is an accessible and entertaining way to gain insights into a complex circumstance and is intended to inspire journalistic and civil investigations into the subject matter.
Upload & Explore are essential and important parts of the OpenBudgets platform, as here budget and spending data is imported, visualised, and analysed. You may choose to upload your own dataset using the ‘Upload’ button, or you can dive straight into the existing datasets by clicking ‘Explore’.
The explore view shows you the datasets that have been already uploaded to the platform. Selecting ‘view’ will open the OpenBudgets Viewer, with instant access to a series of single-click visualisations that you can customise and embed. ‘Analyse’ will open the suite of data mining algorithms you can run on the dataset, allowing for more advanced insights into your data.
Clicking on ‘Upload’ offers two ways to transfer data into the platform:
To upload a dataset you have on your harddrive, choose OpenSpending Packager and follow the instructions on the next page to upload and describe your dataset. LinkedPipes is an ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tool primarily targeted at advanced users and domain experts that allows users to create individual pipelines for specific use cases in which data needs to be sourced, e.g. from a URL.
For support requests, please use Github.