2020 Shortlist

What inflation means for you

Category: Best news application

Country/area: Philippines

Organisation: Rappler

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 21/01/2019

Credit: TheNerve Team

Project description:

Through its two-part series, TheNerve team tried to make the concept of inflation more understandable to readers using data. The first part aims to help readers understand how inflation directly affects them as consumers using a calculator that compares the prices of basic goods in the Philippines from 1957 to 2011 with the prices of goods today. It also made use of both social and economic data to put in context the 2018 inflation rate hike. For the second part, TheNerve team conducted surveys to show how Filipino consumers and business owners are coping with the rising prices of goods.

Impact reached:

TheNerve’s inflation project puts the 2018 inflation rate hike in context using data from multiple sources – economic data, social listening, and surveys – and used innovative data visualizations to help readers understand the concept easier (ie. inflation calculator, topic mapping for news, etc).​

TheNerve’s inflation series was widely read on the Rappler website, generating 10,000 pageviews and 5,000 interactions on social media. The inflation calculator was also used more than 5,000 times.

Techniques/technologies used:

Tools and technologies used:

  • Social listening tools to gather Twitter data.

  • Natural Language Processing to process news data.

  • Charts made using Flourish and Tableau.

  • Calculator built by TheNerve. Computation based on publicly-available data on inflation rates/prices of goods. 

Official data were sourced from government agencies. Data on inflation-related conversations from Twitter. Data on Inflation searches from Google Trends. The survey was conducted by TheNerve team.

What was the hardest part of this project?

Building the inflation calculator was the hardest part of the project, requiring the team to comb through decades’ worth of economic data for accurate computations. Significant effort was also spent on visualizations and in making sure the news app is easy to use and understand.

What can others learn from this project?

The project emphasizes the value of newsrooms working with the private sector, in this case a data company, to fill in vacuums in technological resources and skills, in order to deliver impactful data journalism.

Project links: