Data projects have many moving parts, and coordinating all the pieces can be challenging even for one enterprising journalist, let alone an entire data team simultaneously pushing on multiple fronts.

To help bring sanity to their workflow, the Associated Press developed DataKit, a simple command line tool for setting up and syncing data analysis projects. After using the tool internally for nearly two years, the AP publicly released DataKit in September 2019.

AP Data Editor Meghan Hoyer gave a tour of DataKit in a recent webinar. She said the tool has helped her team collaborate more efficiently, especially on big projects like their work covering opioid distribution trends. Though, DataKit isn’t just for big projects. Every data analysis by the AP is initiated and managed with DataKit.

“It clears the way for you to do your best work in terms of analysis and digging into data,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer presented DataKit along with Serdar Tumgoren, DataKit’s lead developer. Tumgoren previously worked with Hoyer at the AP. He currently teaches data journalism at Stanford University.

Given the recent rollout, I decided to give DataKit a whirl. It’s free, easy to install and, in my opinion, a great tool with a lot of potential.

This story was first published by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute. Read the full story here.