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April 25, 2013, 1:49 p.m.

Today at Source, NYT interactives assistant editor Jacqui Maher explains how the Times built its 2012 Olympics coverage. She discusses the workflow used for breaking down rapidly updating and diverse data about the competitions and how their approach has changed over the last few Olympic events.

Working on three consecutive Olympics for the Times has given me ample opportunity to consider how to approach a massively complex data project. I’ve walked you through the major issues produced by the sheer volume of data and the speed with which we needed to make it usable, how we thought through those issues to find solutions, what worked consistently, and what we’ve had to adapt along the way. The lessons I’ve learned are ones I’ll take with me on any project, Olympic or not. Be flexible and open to changing gears, but also be open to keeping battle-proven solutions around. Don’t dismiss older technology solutions—like saving to a filesystem—out of hand. Get out of your comfort zone, though, and don’t be afraid to try something new.

And if that didn’t sate your thirst for knowledge, here’s a presentation given by Cindy Royal from Texas State University at the International Symposium for Online Journalists on the same topic.

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