FiveThirtyEight's data journalism workflow with R

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FiveThirtyEight is a data journalism site that uses R extensively for charts, stories, and interactives. We've used R for stories covering: p-hacking in nutrition science; how Uber is affecting New York City taxis; workers in minimum-wage jobs; the frequency of terrorism in Europe; the pitfalls in political polling; and many, many more.

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.

In this presentation, I'll walk through how cutting-edge, data-oriented newsrooms like FiveThirtyEight use R by profiling a series of already-published stories and projects. I'll explain our use of R for chart-making in sports and politics stories; for the data analysis behind economics and science feature pieces; and for production-worthy interactives.





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