Andy Boyle is a full-stack web developer for NBC’s BreakingNews.com and has worked for a range of publications, including the Chicago Tribune and New York Times.  Andy specializes in developing data apps such as the Chicago Tribune Election Center, which tracks election data and news. Other notable work he’s done includes an interactive crime map for the City of Chicago, which tracks shootings and crime in the greater Chicagoland area, and a parole decision app for the Boston Globe that simulates the parole decision-making process for second-degree murderers. We had a...

One of the most important promises of open data from government agencies is the potential for greater transparency. As Jeni Tennison, technical director of the Open Data Institute, puts it: Publishing open data is one way of being more transparent about what you're doing. More transparency can help with being more accountable for your decisions [and] help engender trust. Trust and transparency are central to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). Among U.S. Federal agencies, it certainly has attracted a large share of controversy since starting out as the brainchild of Massachusetts Senator...

It's easier than ever to make your own data visualizations these days. Countless new charts are being posted to the internet every day, made with a growing number of tools and openly available data sets. However, for every well-researched map, there are even more incorrect graphics. The data viz boom has created all sorts of pitfalls, from intentionally misleading axes to lazily filtered statistics. And it's not always easy to tell when you're being duped. Fortunately, it's also easier than ever to act on your suspicions.  No, you can't always Tweet the...