Whether or not you are satisfied with the outcome of the most recent presidential election, we can all agree that it was a major national— maybe even international— event. KING 5 News, the Seattle-based NBC affiliate, was at the forefront of bringing all the important election coverage to locals in the Pacific Northwest. To keep viewers engaged and up-to-date on the latest news related to the 2016 presidential primary election results, KING 5 News put its vote of confidence in Microsoft’s Power BI for its interactive data visualization capabilities.
As a local broadcast, KING 5 News wanted to give Washingtonians the best picture of the election results landscape as they developed in real time. The station decided that providing cross-platform coverage that spanned television, website, and mobile applications would give them the best means of reaching more people, more effectively. To get a better idea of how to make their coverage more interactive and engaging, KING 5 News drew inspiration from larger national networks and found that adopting software with advanced data visualization capabilities was the key— but the high price and excessive functionality of such technology created obstacles.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but it’s never been possible before at the local level, only for the national networks, who’ve spent gobs of money on custom software packages that are well beyond local TV capabilities,” -Peter O’Connell: Executive Producer for Special Projects, KING 5 News
After conducting a bit more research on finding a solution that would give them the ability to create data-driven visuals at a price they could afford, KING 5 News went with Power BI. This proved to be a wise investment, as it brought an unparalleled data visualization integration experience across on-air, desktop, and mobile devices. Power BI gave KING 5 News reporters the technology they needed to provide their audience with in-depth and insightful information on data-based stories. The pen and touch screen analysis allowed reporters to share real-time, interactive data that was detailed enough to show results at various levels of locality, such as congressional district and county. Reporters even had access to a Power BI tool that made presentations easier and greatly improved their on-air storytelling abilities.
KING 5 News’ coverage of the presidential primary election was one for the ages— and it was thanks in part to Power BI. The station’s political reporters were able to provide live data on all 39 counties within the “Evergreen State” as it streamed into Power BI reports. They were able to provide predicted results that were based on voting trends and track the release of tallies from mail-in ballots each day. The station also had the ability to show data from multiple sources for comparison of coverage and facts. Perhaps most importantly, Power BI’s cross-platform capabilities allowed KING 5 News to reach an audience of well over half a million people by television, web, and apps in one night— including a special Facebook Live event that drew 116,000 viewers. With all the in-depth and real-time coverage KING 5 News was able to provide their audience during the last presidential primary elections, the station was able to provide deeper insights and better visualizations that their audience found to be engaging and relevant.
To learn more about KING 5 News’ use of Power BI for election coverage, read the case study.
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