Crunch is an AI-driven toolkit for instant analysis and visualisation of data. It will attempt to significantly reduce the time taken to produce high-quality interactive graphics by automatically cleaning, interpreting and visualising data. Using a combination of heuristic algorithms and machine learning, the tool will make sense of real-world spreadsheets and connect to Flourish – Kiln's popular visualisation platform – to instantly generate graphics ready to review, edit and publish. The project will also seek to explore how data graphics could open up new revenue streams for publishers.
Even with ""easy"" visualisation tools such as Flourish, journalists need to clean and prepare their data manually or using a third-party data-wrangling tool. This is a barrier to entry for journalists who are are starting with a dump of data from disparate sources or who are not trained as data analysts. Even once the data is cleaned, the user needs to work out what kinds of visualisations might suit the data and manually attach columns and rows to the interactive template. Crunch will attempt to minimise this friction, enabling journalists to find stories in data more easily and to publish more – and more varied – graphics.
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