The reporters at our newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, needed to be able to quickly search public datasets. We had a home-grown tool for this, but it was hard to maintain — a single reporter had to make time to update the site every time there was new data.
It seemed to us that it would be awesome to build a newsroom data library that everyone could use. It needed to be cheap, easy, and super-fast. So, we asked Knight Foundation to help us fund its development.
PANDA is the product of extensive interviews with reporters and editors, and more than a year of design and development. We hope your newsroom finds PANDA as useful as we do!
Christopher Groskopf is the lead developer, software architect and all-around technical mastermind behind PANDA. He worked at Chicago Tribune before leaving to become lead developer on PANDA, and now works at National Public Radio.
Brian Boyer, Joe Germuska and Ryan Pitts are the PANDA board. Chris, Brian and Joe worked together at Chicago Tribune when this project was just getting warmed up. Brian is now at NPR with Chris, and Joe is the chief nerd at the Northwestern University Knight Lab. Ryan directed online operations at The Spokesman-Review and is now working with Source and Census Reporter.
PANDA is now a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors at the Missouri School of Journalism. We’re really happy to be here.