Summary: Journalists want to know how we did what we did at PriceCheck with our partners KQED in San Francisco and KPCC/Southern California Public Radio in California. Here’s a description of the project analysis presented at the National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting by our partner Lisa Pickoff-White at the NICAR 2015 conference, as described by the Knight Lab’s own Ashley Wu, who attended the session.
“We know data tells us a lot. We write programs to automate data scraping. We spend hours creating data visualizations that help readers see what they need to see. We use data to make claims and generate stories that are reliable and have impact.Data is important and we seem to be surrounded by it. But that’s not quite true. Sometimes, there is no data? A session at NICAR that really resonated with me was “Data from Scratch: When data doesn’t exist,” led by Griff Palmer, Ricardo Brom and Lisa Pickoff-White. Pickoff-White shared her experience building PriceCheck, a crowdsourced project that KQED launched last year to answer the question “How much does health care cost?” The team wanted to compare and contrast the costs of certain procedures or services with and without insurance. The biggest problem was that contracts between patients and their insurance providers were confidential, so no one could get to the information. Except the patient, that is.” By Ashley Wu, “NICAR 2015: Data from scratch — How to crowdsource data,” Knight Lab, Northwestern University.