Analysis of email

Some readers have asked about the analysis of Joey Hawkins’ emails from May to November 2015 reported in my April 19 story, Hawkins responds to recall criticism.
At the latest data journalism conference and training session in Denver, I learned more about DocumentCloud and Overview analysis tools. I used DocumentCloud to turn the stack of emails into readable, searchable documents. (Both these tools have been developed with journalists in mind but have proved useful to other disciplines.)

I used Overview to code and search the emails for some simple analysis.

For example, Overview read all the emails and generated a word cloud that I could use to tag and sort the emails.

WordCloud
Probably the most important sort was the month tag. After that was done, I had to go back into each document to check any that had been tagged more than once. For example, an email sent in June might be setting up a meeting in July. I would delete the “july” tag from such an email to make the month-by sorting as robust as possible.
I also used the search feature to help me quickly read and sort the emails in simple ways, such as the “To: ” and “From: ” lines.
Search - Fr Hawkins
Overview doesn’t have the capabilities of “publishing” your work. But DocumentCloud does. Here are the emails, with a search tool, for your perusal.

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