June 12 –15, 2015

Diving Into Data Workshop 2015

Psst. Want a well-placed source at your local school district or college? One you won’t need to interview in an underground garage?

Meet education data. The numbers won’t tell the whole story, but they can set you on the path to tell the tale. For instance, you can  take the pension records of a half-million teachers and uncover alarming attrition rates where officials say things are fine. Or you can show  that a cheap intervention has the same impact on college student learning as a high-dollar tech splurge. You can examine U.S. Census data to illustrate the family wealth gaps among students within the same school districts.

To propel your reporting on numbers to the next level, apply now for EWA’s upcoming Diving Into Data Workshop on collecting and analyzing data at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

We have slots for 20 reporters, editors and producers to spend June 12 – 15 learning how to use data tools, including Excel, Structured Query Language (SQL) and SPSS. Four veteran reporters will serve as data coaches and lead attendees through comprehensive training on cleaning, manipulating and gleaning information from data sets. The conference also will offer the opportunity to partner with the on-site data coaches for one-on-one help with story projects you can take back to your newsroom.

The data workshop will enable reporters to be more active with data-based reporting, whether for quick-hit stories or longer projects.

Prospective participants must submit applications, which are due May 19. Attendees should plan to bring data sets to use to develop stories at the workshop. Scholarships for lodging, registration, and travel are available. (The registration fee for this event is $100.)

Past attendees have gone on to write stories on absentee rates, remedial class enrollments, and rapidly changing student populations, among other topics. We’re excited to read your applications and hope to see you soon at the workshop!

Examples of stories that emerged from past data workshops:

Quicker turnarounds:

Application deadline: 3:00 a.m. (Eastern) on May 19, 2015

*Application Preview:

  • Below are the items that will require typed responses. Be sure to enter your answers in the appropriate boxes by following the application link above.  
  • What experience do you have using data or stats for your stories? Also please describe a data-based story you think you did well.
  • Have you downloaded data from the Internet? If so what kind and how did you use it?
  • Please describe how you have used Excel or a similar spreadsheet program.
  • Describe how you have used Access, SQL or other database managers.
  • What data do you hope to bring to the conference and what would you hope to gain from analyzing it?
  • Feel free to add other comments.