Lex Aalders works as a designer in the editorials office of Reed Business in Doetinchem. He uses LocalFocus on a daily basis to create graphs for media outlets as Boerderij, Pig Progress, World Poultry and AllAboutFeed. We asked him about his experiences.Who exactly uses LocalFocus at Reed Business?
‘We have been using LocalFocus for years now for our agricultural titles. The folks from the Market-office give us a heads up when a graph is ready to be published and then we hop on the data visualisation train. We give the graphs the right settings and then we are already done actually.’
How frequent do you use the platform?
|An example of the graphs made with LocalFocus
in the print edition of Boerderij.
‘Well, for Boerderij.nl for example we create ten graphs a day in which we share the latest market developments with the public. We actually use the same graphs for the daily newspaper, we only have to give them another look and feel. For the weekly Boerderij magazine we create around fifteen graphs.’
How does this work exactly?
‘The great thing about LocalFocus is that the graphs are suitable for both online and offline publications. The folks there also implemented the look and feel of our titles. This enables us to simply switch between standardized sizes and CMYK-colours. We change the look in one click and all graphs have the same look and feel throughout all publications.’
And what about the data?
‘To be honest, we do not use the LocalFocus News service, but the more we use our own data platform which is connected to LocalFocus.’
Really? Tell me more about that.
‘Our database is updated daily when the market numbers come in. This database is connected to LocalFocus, the numbers in the platform are then updated automatically. This enables us to create graphs in only one click.’
Why do you use LocalFocus? Seems like there are other tools which make the same things possible.
‘To be able to make a fast switch from print version to online version. We work a lot with content that is published online in the first place and is used in the print titles later. Thanks to LocalFocus we only have to create graphs once.’
How did you do this before?
‘For the international titles for example, we sent complete datasets to India. That took a long time, sometimes we waited an entire day for a graph to come back. They created graphs based on a form description.’
What did you do when it did not work out?
‘Then we sent it back. Only a typo in the legend could already cost us hours extra.’
‘Yes, but also that it is less error sensitive. Before, we sent the Excel files to a designer, he copy pasted the numbers in an illustrator program. That not only took more time, but the manual labor also caused more mistakes. The software of LocalFocus enables us to turn a dataset directly in a graph.’What would you like to do with LocalFocus in the future?
‘I would like to do more with newsmaps. We already started with this for the online titles, but we could do it more for print. An infographic with information about the outbreak of diseases for example, that seems very interesting.’