With data oriented reporting on the rise, journalists are naturally looking for ways to jump in. However, many quickly realize that it is not just a clean cut process, even less so than stepping into the world of video. Whereas now it is as simple as creating a YouTube account to get your footage online and viewable by the world, creating data interactives still require a certain level of expertise (both with coding and data management) and, even more difficult, somewhere to host it.
Much like how Google's YouTube became the standard for video online, Google is trying to do the same in the field of online database management with Google Fusion Tables. Fusion Tables, recently released as a beta (in classic Google form), is a "modern data management and publishing web application that makes it easy to host, manage, collaborate on, visualize, and publish data tables online."
So what can you do with it? In its current form, it is primarily being used by news organizations as an easy way to overlay data with a geographic aspect over a Google Map. Current efforts range from the very basic, such as the Chicago Tribune's breakdown of community towing regulations in the Chicago area, to the more complex interactive GovTracker put together by The Texas Tribune as way to follow gubernatorial public appearances.