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Data Biography: KU Public Safety statistics report analysis

In this biography, Rylie Oswald and I outline our roles in our J309 (Data Storytelling) final project. We also explain the sources of our data, the tools that we used and our data analysis methods.

Data lifecycle 


Our data comes from the University of Kansas Public Safety Office’s annual report of crime that occurred on and off campus. The data ranges from 2012 to 2021.

We are confident that our data is credible because it comes from KU’s Public Safety Office, which is responsible for responding to crime and emergencies on campus, along with providing a lost and found service to students.

We also interviewed Jack Campbell Jr., a  KU Public Safety investigator, who explained the data report to us.


The rows represent the crimes, the categories the crimes fall into and the number of crimes that occurred in each year. There are 51 rows in the spreadsheet.

The columns represent the crimes, crime categories and years – 2012 to 2021.  There are 12 columns in the spreadsheet. Here’s a link to our spreadsheet.

Data transformations

  1. Removing old categories: The initial dataset had its own crime categories with total numbers that were miscalculated by small margins. These categories were difficult to enter in a data spreadsheet. Therefore, we removed these miscalculated total numbers and kept the individual numbers.
  1. Adding new categories: We added new columns to the dataset to categorize the crimes as felonies, felony-misdemeanors and misdemeanors.

Data analysis 

We sorted crimes from highest to lowest. We also created some pivot tables that inspired the creation of our graphs and tables. We also analyzed the correlation between overall crime rates on and off campus. 


We used four line charts and one bar chart to tell our story. One of the bar charts – “A comparison of the crime categories from before, during and after the pandemic” – was created with Tableau. The other charts were created using Flourish. We also used a few tables to make the data easier to read, which were created in Google Docs.


We wrote a news story that was about 15 short paragraphs.

Who completed which part of the data story 


  • Bar chart 
  • Two tables (yellow) & (blue) 
  • Implemented most revisions after meeting with instructor on Dec. 2
  • Interview with Public Safety 
  • Two line chart “how crime has changed on campus over the years” & “how car part thefts have changed over the years”


  • Story idea and data source 
  • Picture 
  • Headline 
  • One table (blue and green)
  • Lead (before revision)  


  • Story body 
  • Scraping data
  • Analysis and transformations on data 
  • Data biography

Published by Abdullah Al-Awhad

Abdullah Al-Awhad is the editor for the Open Kansan and is a sophomore majoring in journalism (news & information) and political science. Al-Awhad worked as a senior reporter for the University Daily Kansan and later joined the Open Kansan. He will now continue the Open Kansan founder Wesley Cudney's mission to inform students at the University of Kansas.

2 thoughts on “Data Biography: KU Public Safety statistics report analysis

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