The exodus data project

The exodus data project

Organisation: - (United Kingdom)

Publication Date: 03/28/2017


Size of team/newsroom:small


The exodus data project is an investigation about people who seek asylum in the UK due to religious persecution. The data is based on 10,000 decisions extracted from the UK's Upper Tribunal website (Immigration and asylum chamber). To humanise the data and make it more meaningful, the project includes stories about people who claim asylum in the UK. Finding testimonies was the most difficult part of the project. These stories are some of the most dramatic experiences I have ever heard as a journalist.

What makes this project innovative? What was its impact?

The project was a tremendous challenge as the UK government has only general data about asylum seekers without taking into account the reasons why they are asking for help. The information the government has about asylum claims due to religious persecution is in paper files, which makes impossible to know which countries and religions are the most common claiming asylum. The data of the project gives a clue and helps to understand the circumstances of these people and the countries they come from.

Technologies used for this project:

The scraping to obtain the data was written with python. The data was filtered using Excel and visualised with two easy-to-use tools: and RawGraphs. The data is also presented in a searchable table built with DataTables, a plug-in for jQuery.
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