[ddj] GUI database tools for newsrooms

M. Edward (Ed) Borasky znmeb at znmeb.net
Fri Apr 17 17:45:19 UTC 2015

On Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 12:49 AM, Sam Leon <sam.leon at okfn.org> wrote:
> I'm looking for a secure hosted database service ideally running Postgres in
> the backend which could be queried and updated using SQL commands but also
> had a graphical interface for users not familiar with SQL who can easily run
> queries and export to CSV. It's for journalists I'm working with who have
> various datasets currently in Excel which is a nightmare for simultaneous
> work and is exceptionally brittle.
> I'm aware of the the PANDA project, wondered if anyone else had any
> tooling/service tips?
> Sam

Some combination of Excel, ODBC, PgAdmin3 and PostgreSQL is probably
the easiest path out of chaos for you and your users.  A hosted
PostgreSQL isn't going to be cheap, though - I'd start with free
desktop installs to get the workflow stabilized.


If you do go the hosted route, you'll need to hire a strong PostgreSQL
database administrator (DBA) to handle all the backup and security
stuff. Don't make that a "side task" for someone or you'll either lose
data or get hacked or both.

The front ends are Excel and PgAdmin3. PgAdmin3 is a GUI tool for
managing the database but it also has a visual query builder similar
to the one in MS Access. Excel also has a query builder. ODBC is
"middleware" that will present a uniform database language to any
query tool.

After you've got all that nailed down, it's just a small step to R,
RStudio and the bright world of analysis and visualization described
in the RStudio cheatsheets
(http://www.rstudio.com/resources/cheatsheets/). ;-)

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