The Centre for Investigative Journalism
The Centre for Investigative Journalism

Data-Driven Investigations – Online, Intensive (AM)

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.

Group size: max 12 people.
Class duration: 2hrs x 5 days (Monday to Friday)
Level of participation: very high. Hands-on, screenshares, regular Q&As and participant contributions.

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

The central aim of the course is for attendees to work on live projects throughout the sessions and leave with their own stories at an advanced stage of research, so we strongly recommend that you approach the course with an idea already in mind for a data-driven story.

“Honestly one of the most stimulating courses I’ve ever attended. Brilliant content, brilliant trainers.”

Feedback 2021

This course will be divided into 5 modules designed to take you through the steps to build a lead into a full investigative story. Drawing from real life examples and scenarios, we will guide attendees from hypothesis to story, including sections on working with spreadsheets, scraping and importing data, investigating people and companies, all using the latest tools and techniques.

The mixture of own projects, group exercises and teaching slides was perfect. Astonishing, how well this worked online.

Feedback 2021

You can also claim a 10% discount if you combine this course with our 4-module ‘Finding Stories with Data’ course. For more information about this two-course package please click HERE.

Technical Requirements

Although this is not a compulsory prerequisite, it is preferable that you know your way around Excel/Google Sheets, and more specifically its PivotTable tool, before attending this course. Using PivotTables to ‘interview’ data is something we teach in our “Finding Stories with Data” course.

This course will need you to have the following software/apps/tools on your computer:

  • MS Excel 2016 or newer (If do not have access to Excel, there is a free trial version available). We encourage the use of MS Excel (that is, the desktop “app”: the online version of Office 365 lacks some of the features you will need). If necessary, you can use Google Sheets, which has slightly different menus and instructions – these are documented in the online materials, but the trainer doesn’t always have the opportunity to demonstrate both systems in the session: he will certainly try, but you may find you need to do some extra work outside the session to catch up.
  • Zoom app. During these sessions the trainers often need participants to be able to share their screen in order to solve problems or demonstrate techniques: if you are on a work computer, or other device which has screen sharing on Zoom disabled, please consider getting the restriction lifted for the duration of this course. If you can’t share the screen because the function is blocked or disabled, it makes it much harder to solve problems and learn from them. But, rest assured, nobody will be forced to share their screen against their will.
  • Camera and audio

This course will be hosted on Zoom. To find out more about how we use Zoom, please check out our Zoom InfoSec page.

Course Structure

Exercises and additional viewing of tutorial videos will be provided to supplement the training between sessions.


Our training is not recorded: if you miss a session, it is lost – you cannot watch a recording of it, nor will you be allowed to attend that session at a later date.

23 January 2023 – Data and Investigations • Ideas and the story memo

This session looks at data-driven story ideas and where they come from. We revisit pivot tables and deconstruct a real data-driven story to work out how it was done, and introduce you to the story memo – the action plan which will help you to keep your own investigation on track.

24 January 2023 – Data sources

Here we focus on sources of data: building on Module 2 of Finding Stories with Data, you will be set some challenges to find specific story elements.

25 January 2023 – Interviewing data

The second session looks in more detail at the idea of “interviewing” your data, to craft better questions and get better answers.

26 January 2023 – Bulletproofing the data investigation

This session explains the steps to follow for ensuring you have what you think you have as you continue to work on your story memo. We also take a look at some of the pitfalls of working with numbers and statistics.

27 January 2023 – Putting it all together and next steps

In the final session, we help you to complete your story memo so that you leave the course with a real story on the go. We also discuss what other training and resources you might need as you start your journey into Data Journalism

Jonathan Stoneman

Jonathan Stoneman is a freelance trainer specialising in data journalism. He has been working with data since 2010. Before that he worked at the BBC – as a reporter, producer, editor of output in Macedonian and Croatian, and finally as head of training at BBC World Service.

Leila Haddou

Leila Haddou is former data journalism editor for The Times and Sunday Times. Before that, she worked on investigations at the Financial Times and the Guardian. She has an avid interest in how technology can aid investigative reporting and co-organises the monthly Journocoders meet up event.
  • 23 January 2023 10.00–12.00 Timezone: GMT (UK Time)
  • 24 January 2023 10.00–12.00 Timezone: GMT (UK Time)
  • 25 January 2023 10.00–12.00 Timezone: GMT (UK Time)
  • 26 January 2023 10.00–12.00 Timezone: GMT (UK Time)
  • 27 January 2023 10.00–12.00 Timezone: GMT (UK Time)
Timezone: GMT (UK Time)
Location: Zoom meeting
9–13 January 2023

Finding Stories with Data – Online, Intensive (AM)

You’ve heard people talking about data journalism, but don’t know where to start? Then this course is for you.

9–27 January 2023

Deep Dive into Data Journalism – Online (AM)

Take a deep dive into data journalism by combining “Finding Stories With Data  – Online, Intensive” (4 sessions: 9, 11, 12, 13 January 2023) with “Data-Driven Investigations – Online, Intensive” (5 sessions: 23-27 January 2023).