Aleph is a data platform created and maintained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). The tool was built to help investigative journalists track people and companies, usually as part of their corruption investigations. In addition to being a tool for searching and finding insights in large volumes of data, Aleph provides an easy and secure way to upload documents and leaks, and create network diagrams, timelines and lists of people that you can compare against hundreds of datasets.
Why was Aleph created?
- To search structured data (e.g. a database) and unstructured data (e.g. a bunch of documents).
- To cross-reference between different datasets (“Who are all the politicians in my country that are mentioned in this leak?”).
- To manage user access, but also flexible sharing within cross-border teams.
- To visually explore data through network diagrams and timelines.
- To regularly update datasets in an automated way using Aleph’s rich API that enables other tools, such as web crawlers, to integrate with it.
Who is using Aleph?
Dozens of public interest organizations run Aleph instances in-house. A few have public instances such as:
- Balkans Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) – Research Desk
- DDoSecrets – Hunter Memorial Library
- Code for Africa – gazeti.africa
Some of the organizations with in-house instances:
- Global Witness
- Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ)
- Swedish Radio (SR)
- Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR)
If you have used Aleph for a project or you have your own Aleph instance, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to contact us using this form to share how you are using Aleph or to give feedback! View our Aleph Support Policy for more information on how OCCRP can help.
Who has funded the development?
We are very grateful to the various donors who have made the development of Aleph possible. Some of these funders include:
Early on the Google Digital News Initiative supported OCCRP with a large-scale grant to build Aleph. Google Ideas (now Jigsaw, an Alphabet unit) also provided funding for the Investigative Dashboard, some of which helped to kickstart this project.
Many of OCCRP’s core grants have financed Aleph, for example from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Department of State (DRL), Open Society Foundations (OSF), Luminate, Sigrid Rausing, SIDA, and Oak Foundation.
You can find a full list of OCCRP’s supporters on our website.
Besides grants to OCCRP, the following organizations have contributed to the development of Aleph:
- The initial prototyping of Aleph was supported by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) through a Knight International Journalism Fellowship in 2014/2015.
- EU Project ODINE supported the use of Aleph by OpenOil UG.
- Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) worked with us to produce a machine learning algorithm to help with document categorization.
If you would like to support OCCRP’s development of Aleph, please contact our Partnerships team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I contribute?
Aleph is an open source project, we’re very excited for contributions from people or organizations who see benefit in helping to refine or extend our tools. Here are some of the ways you could help:
If you are a native speaker of a language that isn’t supported by the Aleph user interface, join the Transifex project and help us provide the software in that language.
If you’re an open data enthusiast or data scraper, you can convert data from a public source to our FollowTheMoney data format and share the result with the community. Consider contributing a memorious scraper to the Aleph data commons!
Any graphic designers or visual artists could help us immensely, in particular by improving the set of icons available inside the application.