Tag Archives: Olivia Vane

The visual challenges of big data: how The Economist turned Spotify data into a story about language

Early Visualisation from Off the Charts

In an interview with Kirstin Bunce for OJB, interactive journalist Olivia Vane explains the production process behind ‘Singing in tongues. What Spotify data show about the decline of English.

Earlier this year The Economist team published an interactive analysis delving into 5 years of Spotify’s data in 70 countries. It was a large data project that started with a scraper — by data journalist Dolly Setton, who was interested in the role of language on the platform — but getting the data was just the beginning.

“I thought it was an interesting experience at the beginning, exploring and figuring out together what was the heart of the piece,” says Olivia. “We didn’t realise what the story was going to be until sort of midway through.”

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