The Centre for Investigative Journalism
The Centre for Investigative Journalism

Deep Dive into Data Journalism – Online

Take a deep dive into data journalism by combining “Finding Stories With Data  – Online, Intensive” (4 sessions: 26-29 July 2021) with “Data-Driven Investigations – Online, Intensive” (5 sessions: 09-13 August 2021).

Finding Stories with Data

Class duration: 1.5hrs x 4 consecutive days
Level of participation: very high. Hands-on, screenshares, regular Q&As and participants contributions.

In four workshops you will learn what data is available and how to find it, how to interrogate it and find facts or patterns in it which will lead, inform and enhance the stories you tell.

Guided by one of our data trainers, with decades of experience pushing the frontiers of data-driven investigations, you’ll come away with the skills to start gathering, interviewing and presenting data for your own reporting projects.

There are lots of courses which teach data journalism skills, but no others have the specific focus on using these tools and techniques for investigations and holding power to account that is the Centre for Investigative Journalism’s speciality.

The course is composed of four sessions of around 1.5 hours each, scheduled over 4 consecutive days, with exercises and recommended reading to augment your learning between sessions.

Data-Driven Investigations

Class duration: 2hrs x 5 consecutive days
Level of participation: very high. Hands-on, screenshares, regular Q&As and participants contributions.

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

It is highly recommended that you approach the course with ideas already in mind for data-driven stories. 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.

This course will be divided into 5 workshops 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 and the latest tools and techniques.

We offer a 10% discount for those who choose to book both courses as a package. To benefit from this offer, book your place for this two-course package by completing the booking form at the bottom of this page.

Signed-up participants must attend all nine sessions.

Technical Requirements

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).
  • Zoom app
  • 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.

26 July 2021 – Finding Stories with Data: Module 1 - Interview your data

This first session teaches you the primary functions of spreadsheet software for journalistic analysis. These functions will allow you to quickly and easily 'interview' your data, asking questions about what it knows and interpreting the answers. These techniques form the core of data journalism skills.

27 July 2021 – Finding Stories with Data: Module 2 - Finding data

Having sharpened your analysis skills on some sample data, you'll be keen to find datasets relevant to your own projects. This session will give you the best tips and tricks to find data that can inform your research and provide leads for new untold stories.

28 July 2021 – Finding Stories with Data: Module 3 - Importing, cleaning and tidying your data

Even when you know where to find data and how to analyse it, there are often barriers in your way. From the difficulties of working with incomplete and inconsistent data to the problem of 'data' being released in PDF format, this session will give you the tools and techniques to unlock datasets and clean them up, getting them into a form which you can analyse and draw meaningful conclusions from in as short a time as possible.

29 July 2021 – Finding Stories with Data: Module 4 - Telling your story

This session will focus on how to take the findings from your data research and pull them together into a coherent story. Data-driven stories often need some kind of visualisation and we will look at how to do these. But visualisation is not the only way to present your findings, so we will discuss when visualisations are necessary and when they’re not.

9 August 2021 – Data-Driven Investigations: Module 1 - 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.

10 August 2021 – Data-Driven Investigations: Module 2 - Interviewing data

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

11 August 2021 – Data-Driven Investigations: Module 3 - 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.

12 August 2021 – Data-Driven Investigations: Module 4 - 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.

13 August 2021 – Data-Driven Investigations: Module 5 -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. He previously worked for BBC World Service for many years, as a reporter, producer, later as editor and finally as Head of World Service Training at Bush House.

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.
  • 26 July 2021 10.00–11.30 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 27 July 2021 10.00–11.30 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 28 July 2021 10.00–11.30 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 29 July 2021 10.00–11.30 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 9 August 2021 10.00–12.00 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 10 August 2021 10.00–12.00 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 11 August 2021 10.00–12.00 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 12 August 2021 10.00–12.00 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
  • 13 August 2021 10.00–12.00 Time zone: BST (UK Time)
Time zone: BST (UK Time)
Location: Zoom meeting
This event is now fully booked.
Goldsmiths students (full time)*
Students (full time)*
Small Media/Education/NonProfit Organisations (<10 staff)
Large Media/Education/NonProfit Organisations (10+ staff)
Other Organisations

In line with our non-profit mission, our pricing operates on a sliding scale, ensuring large organisations pay more to subsidise places for smaller newsrooms, freelancers and students.

*Students places for this course are capped, due to limited capacity. Anyone registering as a student will be asked for a photo/scan of their student ID ahead of the course.

**Employed individuals who cannot have their employers pay for the course are entitled to the freelancer rate. Note that we are a small charity and rely on your honesty so please do not register as a freelancer if your employer is reimbursing you for the course.

We have a strict policy of No Refund and No Transfer of bookings.