Abgeordnetenwatch.de is an independent and non-profit online platform, which allows public citizen requests to German and European parliaments as well as to regional parliaments, thus providing a direct link between citizens and members of parliament. In addition, abgeordnetenwatch.de documents the voting behavior and income of the deputies.

Together, we worked for six months on OffenesParlament.de, a platform that allows you to search through all 245 plenary protocols of the German Bundestag from the 18th legislative period (2013-2017). Additionally, we analyzed the most common discussion topics, speakers and their background.

Abgeordnetenwatch.de works with data and digital information on a regular basis, although not every team member has a technical background:

"Everyone in the team works with data on a daily basis and almost exclusively on the internet - but only a few have an IT background. Therefore, it is helpful for all of us to learn how to process data efficiently, and how to draw meaningful conclusions. We often have large datasets that we need to restructure to tell compelling stories. The complexity of the data provided has always been a challenge for abgeordnetenwatch.de. We often stop after the analysis - although we describe the results in texts, we still lack good visualization tools." team of abgeordnetenwatch.de

Lessons learned

During the project, we worked together on the data pipeline, researching, analyzing and visualizing data:

“We have found that each team member's approaches to data is different and that we have to work closer together. The data pipeline has deepened our understanding of processing data and is a useful tool on our journey." team of abgeordnetenwatch.de

Next steps

"We will continue to work with data on a daily basis and will further explore the field of data visualisations to increase the impact of our stories and research activities." team of abgeordnetenwatch.de