Two Minute Tips

Data analysis

When statistical median and mean tell you nothing

In business journalism, statistics may not be second nature to all reporters, but they are a constant companion and it’s necessary to understand them. You might turn to the mean—average—or

A simple graph can give readers a snapshot of a company's sales patterns. (Image by Erik Sherman)

4 ways to add data visualization

Good business journalism requires many skills: research, interviewing and analysis. These days, you need to add data visualizations. A lot of business reporting involves going through data, uncovering trends and

There's more than one unemployment figure each month. Here's how to dig into the report. (Image by "pixel2013" via pixabay CCO Public Domain)

Jobs number, part 2: Digging in

Proper reporting of the monthly employment report takes work. Read the BLS analysis. Along with notes and footnotes, it will explain factors which may have influenced the report. Report on

The monthly jobs number is transparent, and a little tricky. (Image by "skeeze" via pixabay, CCO Public Domain)

Jobs number, part 1: Transparency and trends

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Employment Situation Report for February on March 10, showing a healthy 235,000 gain in payroll employment. Asked what President Trump thought about the numbers,

How to use BLS data to report on women’s employment

When post-inauguration women’s marches made headlines across the country, women-in-the-workforce issues became hot topics. Here are some tips for using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to jump-start a story. Look at women’s

Three databases: Local learning trends

Newsworthy headlines about schools often report on the quality of a state’s education, or the status of funding that public schools are receiving from the government. However, trends local education also

Reporter beware: Many corporate surveys are created to amplify a marketing message, not to offer unbiased information. (Credit: Pixabay user andbreit)

Reporter’s tip sheet: How to assess a survey

Surveys and polls are regular tools of public relations teams. But it’s important to recognize that these studies are primarily created in a company’s own interest, not to enhance your stories

Finding data on exported goods through

The International Trade Administration provides reliable first-hand data for business journalists looking into trade affairs, which you can find at One of the most important tools found on the

How to use databases to untangle local food webs

As the world grows more interconnected, so do food systems. Most communities import their food from many regions; local growers are additional sources. At the same time, those local farms

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