3 Ways to learn DDJ without leaving your desk


Not everyone has time to study at J-school or attend in-person workshops. For the busy journalist, looking to expand their data toolbox, online courses are the way to go. And there are plenty out there.

The EJC has pioneered in this space - almost every data journalist has perused our Data Journalism Handbook - and, last year, we launched a new hub of online digital journalism courses via LEARNO.NET.

But what else is there?

Poynter's News University is another great resource, which offers more than 300 free and low-cost online courses.

We took a look at five cool courses they're running to help you get down and dirty with data.

1. Data Visualization for Journalists: Stripping the Dread from the Graphics

With so many free graphics tools available on the market, it can be overwhelming to work out how to get started. This course outlines the the basic fundamentals of visual design, so that you can easily identify the best tool for your data. Taught by data viz expert, Alberto Cairo, the course covers:

  • The main rules of visualization design
  • How visualization can be used to analyze data
  • The most common free and easy-to-use tools
  • How to integrate data charts and maps into your stories

The webinar will be run over two days from 16 - 17 February 2017, but the event will be archived for journalists who can't attend live.

Sign up here.

2. Using Data for Better Sports Journalism

If there's one area that seamlessly lends itself to data reporting, its sports. Not only is the area stats heavy, but sports journalism also requires an understanding of financial data.

Owners and leagues keep a very tight hold on information about their teams' finances, performance and controversies - but there are ways around this secrecy.

To this end, Jodi Upton teaches ways to infiltrate the "Sports-Industrial Complex". By the end of the course, journalists will be able to:

  • Investigate misconduct
  • Delve into college sports spending
  • Understand professional salaries
  • Identify public spending on sport
  • Build databases from records found through these investigations

Sign up here.

3. Bringing Spreadsheets and Maps Together with ZeeMaps

Mapping is one of the most powerful data visualization techniques. But mapping software options are endless.

To map lists, ZeeMaps offers an easy means of marking a Google Map with your location and content - and this course takes you through the process from beginning to end.

You'll learn how to create a spreadsheet with your information, work with a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file, import information to ZeeMaps, and then how to customize ZeeMaps for your ideal Google Map.

Sign up here.

Explore more News University courses here.

Image: ancient history.