Data Journalism Spring Bootcamp 2013

    From Excel to SQL - in five days intensive training learn how to manage datasets and find stories.

    Room A218, College Building, City University London, EC1V 4PB
    22 April 2013 - 26 April 2013
    We are now fully booked for the Spring Bootcamp but please register your interest through the online booking form below so that we can let you know if there are any last minute cancellations or when the next bootcamp is scheduled.

    Click here to register your place now

    This five-day workshop on database journalism is designed for reporters with little or no knowledge of data journalism and will give you a foundation in the essential skills.
    Course fees:
    Full price: £500
    NUJ member: £375
    Student: £250
    SQL only (last three days): £300.

    Course Outline

    This five-day workshop in data journalism, also known as computer-assisted reporting, is designed for reporters with little or no knowledge of data journalism and gives a foundation in the essential skills. By the end of the workshop, attendees will be able to produce data-driven, evidence-based stories and investigations that will make a difference in their newsrooms and the communities they serve.

    Reporters who have some spreadsheet skills but need to learn how to manage and use larger data sets can attend this portion of the workshop at a reduced cost. The last three days will take their existing skills to a new level, giving them the ability to make greater impact with database-driven stories.
    Please get in touch with Minal: if you have any questions.
    MONDAY, 22 April
    9 - 9.30am        Registrations and coffee
    9:30 - 10:30am        Introduction: What data journalism is and its place in the newsroom
    10:30 - 11.15am        Best practices and introduction to spreadsheets
    11:30 – 12.30pm        Spreadsheet exercises: formulas
    12.30 - 1:30pm        Lunch
    1:30 – 2:45pm        Freedom of Information in the UK with Brendan Montague, co-founder and executive director of Request Initiative
    2.45 - 5:30pm        Spreadsheet exercises: filtering and sorting and Q&A

    TUESDAY, 23 April
    9.30 – 10 am         Using spreadsheets for stories and review
    10 – 12.30 pm           Spreadsheets exercises: pivot tables
    12.30 – 2:30 pm         Lunch and open lab
    2:30 – 3.30 pm          Using Google Fusion Tables
    3:30 – 4:30 pm          Spreadsheet exercises: analysing data, problem-solving, data cleaning
    4:30 – 5:30 pm          Finding data for spreadsheets and importing and Q&A

    WEDNESDAY, 24 April     (Please note we will be moving to Room EG07 in Drysdale Building for the day)
    9 - 10 am        Moving from spreadsheets to databases     
    10 - 10:30 am           Using database managers for stories
    10:30 am - Noon        Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)           
    Noon - 2:30 pm        Lunch and open lab
    2:30 - 5 pm             Database and SQL exercises: The Select statement
    5 – 6 pm             Database and SQL exercises: The power of aggregating data

    THURSDAY, 25 April        (Please note we will be moving to Room EG07 in Drysdale Building for the day)
    9 - 10 am               Moving from flat files to relational databases
    10 - 11 am              Using relational databases and SQL for stories
    11 am – Noon            Database and SQL exercises: Joining           
    Noon - 2:30 pm          Lunch and open lab
    2:30 - 5 pm             Importing and cleaning data for databases with SQL; Building your own databases; negotiating for data
    5 – 6 pm                Analyzing data and problem solving and Q&A

    FRIDAY, 26 April
    9 - 10 am               Recent stories using advanced techniques – a data analysis perspective
    10 - 11 am              Interviewing your data for statistical analysis
    11 - 12:15 pm           Working with categorical variables: Frequencies, crosstabs and significance tests
    12:15 - 1:30 pm         Lunch
    1:30 – 3:00 pm          Making and mushing categorical variables: Recoding for frequencies and crosstabs
    3:00 – 4:30 pm          Moving up the ladder to continuous variables: Ranges, descriptives and pictures
    4:30 – 5 pm             Day one wrap up: Q&A and translating results for readers and viewers

    Topics and skills covered during the workshop include:
    • Spreadsheet analysis to make sense out of numbers
    • The basics of data management and SQL
    • Finding, importing and cleaning data for stories
    • Connecting data-driven evidence to narrative reporting
    • Seeing data as part of web-based storytelling
    • Award-winning, database stories and how they were produced
    • Time to work on your own data project
    • Suggestions of how to make data journalism work in your newsroom
    • Taking the skills back to your newsroom
    • Open lab.
    Reporters who identify and bring data from their beats and areas of interest to the workshop, will get one-on-one time with the trainers at the end of each day to start and develop their data analysis.
    About David Donald
    David is the data editor at the Center for Public Integrity in Washington. His interests include financial, housing and healthcare analysis and new tools for data analysis. Prior to joining the Center in 2008, he served as training director at Investigative Reporters and Editors and the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting for five years. He uses data analysis to uncover fraud and governmental abuse. His stories have won three Batten Awards and two Hammet Awards for ethical and courageous journalism.
    Over the last ten years, David has trained many journalists and CIJ staff, with several becoming datajournalism trainers for CIJ at the annual Summer School and bespoke training courses for media organisations and universities. For the Spring Bootcamp, Excel training will be taught by Alex Ascherson, Alex Plough with Juliet Ferguson and Minal Patel assisting. The remainder portion of the bootcamp will be lead by David Donald including SQL and statistics.
    But Don’t Just Take Our Word For It
    “I attended the 2011 Data Journalism Boot Camp with very little experience of Excel. David Donald’s excellent teaching, patience and his ability to make statistics sound fascinating meant I left the course confident and keen to handle large volumes of data. Weeks later, the investigative news website I work for partnered with BBC Northern Ireland to publish my first big data story. My analysis was based on 14,259 rows in Excel. Before the training, I wouldn’t have known where to start! Thanks to David and the CIJ, I have been bitten by the data bug and regularly have dreams about pie charts.”
    Kathryn Torney, senior reporter, The Detail, (an investigative news website in Belfast)
    Within months Kathryn Torney was shortlisted for  Data Journalism Awards!
    “David has been teaching data journalism in the UK since before any newspaper had a single data specialist – let alone data teams. His expertise is matched by his methodial, laid-back and humorous teaching style, which five years ago helped me grasp the basics of what has since become my trade. Now David is over in the UK trying – for what I think is the first time – the multi-day training previously only on offer in the US, I think that’s a great opportunity for anyone keen on this fast-developing field.”
    James Ball data journalist the Guardian
    “David Donald single-handedly opened my eyes to the power of computer-assisted reporting. His CAR training is the reason many of us do the work we do and find stories that otherwise would go unreported. From the first “aha-moment” in Excel years ago, David has been an expert guide and a patient teacher. A true master!”
    Cynthia O’Murchu, investigative reporter at the FT
    Read Cynthia's stories for the FT found using data journalism techniquest (no charge but registration required):
    Britain’s Private Care Faces Crisis
    BP Failures Heighten Fears at North Sea Risk
    Please note: All our courses are scheduled to go ahead subject to a minimum number of attendees signing up. The minimum number for each course differs and this is just to enable us to cover costs of the training venue and trainer fees where applicable.