From dormant CSV file to front page of a newspaper, and beyond: the concept of “data marketing”

From dormant CSV file to front page of a newspaper, and beyond: the concept of “data marketing”

Read how we brought to life 10 years of Tasmanian road crash data which then made it to the front page of the local newspaper:

TheMercuryLogo“The Mercury: Tassie’s crash hotspots revealed: Railway Roundabout comes in at number one”


Our 10 years of Tasmanian road crash data analysis got quite a bit of press coverage lately!!!! A couple of weeks after the publication of our analysis, a journalist from The Mercury contacted us asking permission to publish an article about it, and to use our platform to conduct further analysis.

The next day, the article was front page of The Mercury newspaper and of The Mercury website:

The article gave rise to many debates on the local radios, as well to surveys on the social media networks: Hobart’s drivers wise to danger zones

A couple of other news agencies took the opportunity to extend the debate, such as for example ABC: Road accident data reveals Hobart roundabout as Tasmania’s top crash site

Interestingly, the Tasmanian Police immediately took action and deployed officers to the one major hotspot we identified in our analysis….: Police nab 10 drivers using their mobile phones at Railway Roundabout crash hotspot

The community engaged with our open data platform to play with the data, conducted their own analysis using maps, charts, keywords search, they posted comments etc. We recorded thousands of hits all over Australia and overseas, as shown on the maps at the end of this post.

We believe this is a great case study to demonstrate how important it is for any open data initiative to go beyond just opening data. Before we produced this analysis, the Tasmanian road crash data set had been sitting on a simple open data catalogue for months, and not much had happened with it.

For an open data initiative to succeed, i.e. for the community to engage and make use of the data, it is critical to bring it to life, to “market the data” using visualisations, social media, traditional media and any other communication channel: this is what we would like to introduce as the concept of “Data Marketing”. Consider your data set as a product and you need the world to know about it. We will come back to this important concept in future posts. Stay tuned….