Data-Driven Investigations

This course will give participants an opportunity to take their core data skills to the next level and combine them with advanced internet research for rich, in-depth investigations.

Drawing from real life examples and scenarios, this course will guide attendees from hypothesis to story, including sections on working with spreadsheets, scraping and importing data, investigating people and companies and the latest tools and techniques.

The data is rarely the story in itself. This weekend will help you find the human face to add impact and relevance.

Course Outline

This two-day workshop will be divided into half-day sections designed to take you through the steps to build a lead into a full investigative story.

Section 1 – Finding the lead in the data

Section 2 – From Hypothesis to Data

Section 3 – Putting the flesh on the bones

Section 4 – Putting it all together and finding the narrative

About the trainers

Jonathan Stoneman worked for the BBC for 20 years as researcher, producer, reporter, editor and finally head of training for the World Service. Specialising mainly in central and eastern Europe, Jonathan reported for the World Service from virtually every country of the former Warsaw Pact in the 1990s, before moving on to run the Macedonian and then the Croatian language services. Since 2010 Jonathan has worked as a freelance trainer – mostly with data and the Open Data Movement. Tracking the use of open data and learning new techniques to make the most of it has become something between a hobby and an obsession.


Leila Haddou previously worked as data journalism editor for The Times and the Sunday Times in London, and has previously published investigations for the Financial Times and The Guardian. She has an avid interest in how technology can be used by journalists to assist with data-led reporting.


Technical requirements
Bring your own WiFi-enabled laptop. Windows, Mac or Linux (tablets will not be sufficient). You will need to have a Google drive account or a recent copy of Excel. You will also need to have admin rights on the machine as some software may need to be downloaded during class.

It would be helpful if you have OpenRefine installed and working. You should at least try starting it before the course – you may need to update some software it uses.


Large organisations (10+ people) – £309

Small organisations (9 people and fewer) – £232

Freelancers – £177

Full-time students – £109

Goldsmiths students – £87

You can also claim a 10% discount if you book this course at the same time as our 1-day Finding Stories with Data course. To book the course combo click HERE.

All courses are held at Goldsmiths, University of London and run from 10am-5pm.