Tech Overlook

POLITICO Europe elects Microsoft technology to power its innovative new Elections hub


By Ben Rudolph, Managing Director of Modern Journalism, Microsoft Corporate HQ

This morning, in collaboration with Microsoft, POLITICO Europe launched a new Elections hub to report on the upcoming 2019 European Parliamentary elections. One of the key features of the hub is a stunning interactive data visualization – built with Microsoft Power BI.

PowerBI seat to country transition

The team at POLITICO Europe, already recognized as the #1 most influential publication on European affairs for two of the three years since it launched, seeks to bring an unprecedented degree of education and insight to the European electorate as they navigate the complicated election process, which spans thousands of candidates and hundreds of parties across the EU’s 27 member nations. The nonpartisan organization considers itself to have a critical responsibility to all European citizens as they consider the candidates for which they will vote, and knows it will be important to continue to be at the forefront of innovation. POLITICO Europe’s leaders worked with Microsoft to envision new ways of reporting likely outcomes of the election, and break down complex issues like coalition building, to show individual voters the impact of their vote, and draw new participants into the democratic process.

At Microsoft, we are thrilled to engage with POLITICO Europe and deliver on our commitment to empower the news industry to discover and tell impactful stories. Together we are using technology to deliver on POLITICO’s mission and expertise in connecting the dots between EU and member states, making politics more accessible and transparent.

“Visualizing the election will make it a more meaningful event for our readers, showing them during nine months where the election is headed, and how they compare to their neighbors,” said Ryan Heath, Political Editor at POLITICO, leading this project for the newsroom. “We’re encouraging readers to adopt a new way of thinking about the European Union, one where we all see beyond our borders, and want to match this new way of thinking with new ways of discovering and exploring the latest news and facts at a personal level.”

POLITICO Europe readers can explore a detailed, graphical, interactive view of the projected makeup of the 9th European Parliament in a way that has never previously been possible. Currently based on the latest results of national polls, the visualization will update with live election results on May 23-26, 2019, as those actual election results become known, and will ultimately show the new makeup of the Parliament. In addition to a traditional “seating chart” view,  the interactive visualization also enables readers to view MEP seats by region or country, making it simple and fun to learn more about the election and political parties that comprise the Parliament.

PowerBI country tooltips

The centerpiece on the Elections hub is one of several data stories live at launch, and the first of several engaging technology projects POLITICO and Microsoft are developing together. Additional Power BI reports live on the hub at launch include a trends piece on polling results, voter turnout and women MEPs.

Next month, POLITICO Europe will launch country-level pages in the hub, leveraging the rich visualization and interactive capabilities of Power BI to share vital information about each of the 27 EU-member countries participating in the election. Microsoft and POLITICO Europe will also launch new content formats that bring discussion about the future of the EU to new and existing readers.

Power BI is the go-to- tool to  thinking about data-rich topics, whether in the boardroom with customers like Heathrow International Airport, or in news articles published by the Associated Press, Recode and many others.

Read more about POLITICO’s Election hub and how Microsoft technology is empowering the POLITICO team to achieve more in their press release.

Find out more about the POLITICO Europe Power BI report and Power BI for data journalism, on the Power BI blog after 9am PDT.

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