For this analysis, I focused on a collection of stories from ICIJ writers about offshore banking.
The main story, written by seven journalists, analyzes data from leaked files about offshore bank accounts, spending, and more.
The authors analyze the secrecy permeating offshore banking and corporations. They use data about money transfers and links between individuals and corporations. According to the story, they crunched numbers they extracted from over 30 years of emails, records, and files, detailing offshore banking in over 170 countries.
The authors explain the significance of the data by making comparisons. For instance, according to the article, the amount of data measured in gigabytes in the leaked files is 160 times more than the files involved in Wikileaks. That kind of simple comparison to a situation that Americans are generally familiar with helps readers wrap their mind around the huge impact of these files.
The investigative journalists use the immense amount of data and information to break down a complicated subject like offshore banking to readers. It is the job of the journalists to "translate" the information to readers who may be otherwise uneducated about the issue.
On the main page of the collection of articles, there is a sidebar of infographics, interactive maps, and similar links that break down the subject even further. For example, this interactive map shows readers the location and identity of certain people who are buying up British land and property through tax loopholes. By clicking on a house graphic on the map, readers are shown a street view of the property as well as information on the property's owner.
To produce these stories, the various journalists needed to be able to comb through seemingly endless amounts of files and emails. They had to possess adequate computer skills to navigate the files and extract the data. The journalists and graphic creators needed to be able to create the infographics and make sure they were easy to use by the readers.