Data Analysis

School of Data offers a series of tutorials – from finding datasets, to basic Excel skills and using the results to tell a story. Mr. Excel is a site dedicated to tips and tricks for Excel. Sandhya Kambhampati shares some key recommendations to start creating your own database. Troy Thibodeaux, a data editor at the Associated Press, offers a “Gentle Introduction to SQL.”

Data Journalism Conferences

NICAR, a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors, hosts the original annual conference on data journalism as well as periodic training sessions. Data Harvest is held in conjunction with the European Investigative Journalism Conference. The International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy, includes a School of Data Journalism. The Global Investigative Journalism Conference, held every two years, hosts a broad range of data-specific training.

Data Journalism: Books

The Data Journalism Handbook is an international, collaborative effort involving dozens of data journalism experts. The free guide is available for download in Arabic, English, French, Georgian, Russian, and Spanish. (2009)

The Data Journalist, by Fred Vallance-Jones and David McKie (2017). Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future, by Richard Lance Keeble, John Mair, Megan Lucero (2017)

Getting Started in Data Journalism is a manual published in 2018 by Lawrence Marzouk and Crina Boros of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Albania, which aims to introduce journalists to data-driven reporting techniques that are essential to contemporary investigative journalism. Getting Started with Data Journalism, by Claire Miller is subtitled, “Writing data stories in any size newsroom.”

Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide, the E-version by Brant Houston (2014).

data store

News Data and Technology Sites

Data Blog, the Guardian’s blog on computer-assisted reporting

Nacion Data, Spanish-language data journalism blog of the Argentinian daily La Nación. Online Journalism Blog, by the UK’s Paul Bradshaw, covers data journalism, citizen journalism, blogging, vlogging, and more. Open Knowledge Foundation, from a “community of civic hackers, data wranglers and ordinary citizens intrigued and excited by the possibilities of combining technology and information for good.”

Computational Reporting, all about data mining., random thoughts on information visualization and data journalism. Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia’s blog on how technology is changing journalism, its practice and its consumption.


OpenIntro hosts this free textbook on statistics

Knight Digital Media Center provides free, two-day online courses. Coursera offers a number of online statistics courses including:

Passion-Driven Statistics through Wesleyan University
Statistics, Making sense of data, offered though the University of Torono
Statistics One, offered through Princeton University
Introduction to Statistics, offered through the University of California Berkeley

Recommended Books on Statistics:

Damned Lies and Statistics, Joel Best
Data Analysis for Politics and Policy,  Edward Tufte
Designing Social Inquiry, by King, Keohane, and Verba
The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Leonard Mlodinow
How To Lie with Statistics, Darrel Huff
Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data, Charles Wheelan
The Signal and the Noise, Nate Silver
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman
Precision Journalism, by Philip Meyer
Statistics with R: A Beginner′s Guide, by Robert Stinerock

Visualization and Mapping

Edward Tufte’s books and courses are industry standards for visualizing data. Flowing Data is run by statistician Nathan Yau, author of Data Points: Visualization that Means Something and Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics. offers a directory of compelling infographics, how-to info, and more. Your Friendly Guide to Colors in Data Visualisation  A 2018 blog post by Lisa Charlotte addressing color choice, including links to useful tools. Esri offers a series of free online courses for those interested in mapping with ArcGIS.

Data Journalism: Training

Data Journalism, a series of training sessions from the Google News Initiative. Getting started with data journalism, a video tutorial series by Alastair Otter on Media Hack (2017). Code Academy offers a series of free interactive training on the basics of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, and PHP. Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a series of free online courses in computer programming with Python, Java, and C++. Michael Hartl publishes an open-source textbook on how to program with Ruby on Rails.

Data Journalism

The use of data has become an integral part of investigative journalism. Increasingly, reporters need to know how to obtain, clean and analyze the growing archive of digitized information. See the presentations on data journalism made at the IJAsia18 conference here. For our companion video, “Investigating With Data,” check GIJN’s YouTube channel.

Data Journalism: Key Resources

Where It Came From: To know where we’re going, it helps to know where we’ve come from. Here’s a great history of data journalism, Fifty Years of Journalism and Data: A Brief History, tracing the field’s origins from the use of big mainframe computers in the 1960s to computer-assisted reporting in the ’90s to the current boom in data journalism. Written by GIJN’s own Brant Houston, author of Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide, now in its fourth edition. Best Practices for Data Journalism is a 2018 guide written by Kuang Keng Kuek Ser, an award-winning digital journalist, and produced by the Media Development Investment Fund. It covers setting up and using data teams as well as tools, techniques and presentation of data journalism.