• Rainbow_flag

    Foreign Office flagging to hold up their end of the argument

    It seems slightly bizarre that in 2017 the Government should still be getting itself in a tizzy over LGBT issues – but it seems they can’t help themselves. In 2015 our then Foreign Secretary was reported as having written to embassies around the globe that our gin-swilling ambassadors were to be forbidden to fly the […]

  • Parliament_at_Sunset

    Millions in food and drink subsidy paid to Houses of Parliament

    It must be a great life being a Parliamentarian. Nice salary, great expenses, employ all your family members too, fantastic pension and then probably a cushy seat in the House of Lords. Those perks are ten complemented by all the extra-curricular cash they can rake in from TV appearances, book deals and even journalism. So […]

  • Students

    Higher University fees putting off poorer applicants

    University education is a strange thing. When it was worth something they paid you to have it, but now that it can be worthless they charge you a fortune for it. When I was a fresh-faced undergraduate I got a student grant for my living expenses and asking me to pay for the tuition I […]

  • Rollercoaster_Ride

    Officials hold data on the numbers hurt in fairground accidents

    For me chair-o-planes were about as risky as I would go in relation to fairground rides. So when I hear of people being injured or stranded on these ever bigger and faster machines it just encourages my inner coward. From a stats point of view, of course, the numbers injured in fairground and amusement park […]

  • plane

    Transparency flies off into the distance

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has the responsibility for ensuring air safety and as such is a Government quango that ultimately is answerable to the general public. Well that’s the idea…… Sadly I’ve received an e-mail from the powers that be at the CAA that in future a lot of Freedom of Information inquiries that […]

  • benn

    Flying into a political storm

    The political hot potato that is immigration and the coverage of the issue in the press is a classic case of the chicken and the egg – which came first. Are papers simply reflecting the angst of an indigenous population concerned their nation is being swamped with migrants on the hunt for jobs, benefits and […]

  • roulette-wheel

    Numbers stacked against the punters

    The Gambling Commission is the publicly funded quango that is supposed to keep an eye on everything to do with the gambling industry. In part I suspect it was set up to ensure that the Government keeps it take of however much cash is being wagered, but it is also there to try to bring […]

  • Door lock sign indicates facilities in use!

    A penny for your thoughts

    Some of you may have had the misfortune in the past to have been stuck at a railway station needing to use the loo. I’ve often arrived at Victoria and wanted to take a comfort break before the train ride back to the south coast to be confronted with the barriers. Those veterans of station […]

  • Clouseau2

    We seek them here – we seek them there

    It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which officials will try to wash their hands of responsibility – particularly when to the layman the topic in question is exactly what they should be overseeing. Well an excellent example of this has fallen into my lap, and unless there is a change of heart […]

  • germanwings

    Health concerns of airline pilots

    A statistic that is often trotted out is that you are more likely to be killed in car crash driving to the airport than in the subsequent plane journey. I’m sure the number crunchers are right but that doesn’t stop me gripping the seat as my jumbo comes into land at 100mph.   I’ve been […]

  • fletcher

    Jailhouse stock control

    When most people think of prison they have an image of Fletch from BBC’s Porridge, his quest for pineapple chunks and his erudite cellmate Godber who had a geography O-level – or maybe it is just me. But the media has a fascination with criminals and by proxy the way we choose to punish criminals […]

  • Nicolae-Ceausescu

    Dog cull sets tongues wagging

    Most of the articles I write are based around numbers. The reason for this is although I enjoy writing number-based articles it is just much easier to get hold of information in a numerical form than a document that has been written by somebody in their words. Personally I believe this is because many people […]

  • benefits_2794658b

    The Taxman giveth and the taxman taketh away..

    Earlier this week there was a story that was taken up by the newspapers about the number of households in the country that take more out of the tax system than pay in. Obviously on the back of such shows as Benefits Street and the obsession by some that the country is being brought to […]


    The Ins and Outs of the UK’s trade

    One of the things I’m always on the lookout for as a data journalist are any new sources of information that can be used to provide the raw material for an article. Recently I stumbled across a great resource called UK Trade Info, which as you might have guessed logs all the imports and exports […]

  • Baden Powell

    Perverts Knot wanted in the Scouts

    Somewhere out there in the digital world are a bank of computers that hold all the information relating to criminal convictions clocked up by the entire population.   After the case of Soham double murderer Ian Huntley, who managed to get a job as a school caretaker despite having a predilection for sex with underage […]

About Datanews

Matt Davis

I have been a reporter for the last 20 years and gradually my love of statistics and journalism has morphed into DataNews.

The agency produces exclusive news articles based upon statistics and data often gleaned from Freedom of Information responses or publicly available sources. I like (almost) nothing more than looking at an Excel spreadsheet of numbers wondering how I can turn it into a story.

This website I hope will be a place where others with an enthusiasm for data journalism will come to see the origins of some of my articles, review other great number based stories and read my ramblings on all manner of unrelated topics. Matthew Davis.


Will “Big Sam” have the last laugh at the Hammers?

The marriage between “Fat Sam” and the Hammers was always one that was going to end in acrimony. The troubled pact between manager Sam Allardyce and West Ham had been heading for the rocks for some months and, to use one too many metaphors, the wheels came off as the season ended. Allardyce and West […]


Blobby bobbies on the rise

Just like the child in the proverbial sweet shop, newspapers can’t get enough when it comes to stories about obesity. The topic of how the nation is getting fatter as well as the more nuanced consequences for our general health and the cost implications on society and the health service are a sure fire winner […]

Showing social media icons on smartphone

Social Media crime – Buses of the 21st century?

About two years ago I did an article for the newspapers on the number of crimes the police logged that were linked in some way to Facebook. At the time Facebook was getting a lot of bad publicity and the article just helped to fan the flames of discontent about the lack of social responsibility […]

Pa sÿe en kanalcÿek.

Amsterdam loses its cocaine crown to London

Who says that Europe is a waste of money and we should pull out quicker than you could chomp down a frogs’ leg starter followed by a healthy portion of bratwurst? Not me. Not after the evidence that scientists around the continent are doing really useful research for the tiny clique that makes up the […]


Don’t let HPV be a foolish re-run of the MMR debacle

There was a blip of discussion last week about the prospect of bringing back National Service after its potential virtues were promoted by that great social commentator Prince Harry. When not indulging in nude Vegas romps it appears the man who keeps falling down the pecking order to the throne believes that we should have […]


Millions paid to families of patients killed by botched NHS hospital care

Hidden within the depths of the NHS is a body called the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) which has the rather sad job of dishing out billions of pounds to patients who have been the victims of negligent care while in hospital. From a journalistic point of view the NHSLA is very useful in that it […]