Numerical analysis sounds boring to most and way too complicated to nearly all news organizations. But the advent of multimedia and interactives means that facts and figures can and should be made accessible and exciting. Here is a TED talk using simple Power Point. The topic and research are so affective that I am just gripped to my computer screen. A good use of data which goes to show that news agencies are just plain slow on the uptake.
As Information is Beautiful shows, there is a lot being done with data at academic institutions. At the moment there is a strong push by the data mining community to get government data out into the open but academic data is, I think, the real diamond in the rough.
If you are working with academic data or want to let me know. Follow @DataMinerUK