Instructor: Alberto Cairo





This resource page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America's massive open online course (MOOC), titled "Data Visualization for Storytelling and Discovery." The four-week course, which was powered by Google, took place from June 11 to July 8, 2018. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who is interested in learning how to create data visualizations to improve their reporting and storytelling.


The course was taught by Alberto Cairo, He created and curated the content for the course, which includes video classes and tutorials, readings, exercises, and more.


The course materials are broken up into four modules:


  • Module 1: Offers an introduction to visualization: what it is, how it works, and what ethical considerations are involved in its design. It also reviews how to prepare data before visualizing it.
  • Module 2: Covers how visualization can be used to explore and discover features that often hide behind data. The video tutorials will show you how to use software tools to import a data set and then visualize it in multiple ways to reveal patterns and exceptions to those patterns.
  • Module 3: Explains how visualization can be used to communicate with the public. The video tutorials show how to use the Google tool Flourish to design static and interactive maps and charts, and then put them together in sequential narratives.
  • Module 4: Provides you with an exercise that will motivate you to apply what you learned from the course materials. Specifically, you’ll be asked to design a visualization based on a topic and datasets of your choice.

As you review this resource page, we encourage you to watch the videos, read the readings, and complete the exercises as time allows. The course materials build off each other, but the videos and readings also act as standalone resources that you can return to over time.


We hope you enjoy the materials and share them with others who are interested in learning more about how to use data visualizations to improve reporting and storytelling. We also encourage you to visit the Google News Initiative’s training site for journalists -- g.co/newstraining.



ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Alberto Cairo is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami. He’s also the director of the visualization program at UM’s Center for Computational Science. Cairo has been a director of infographics and multimedia at news publications in Spain (El Mundo, 2000-2005) and Brazil (Editora Globo, 2010-2012,) and a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Besides teaching at UM, he works as a freelancer and permanent consultant for companies like Google. He’s the author of the books The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (2012) and The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication.



INTRODUCTORY MODULE


READINGS:

MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION TO VISUALIZATION PRINCIPLES


GOALS

This module offers an introduction to visualization, what it is, how it works, and what ethical considerations are involved in its design. It also teaches how to prepare data before visualizing it, which will be covered in module 2.


MODULE 1 WILL COVER:
  • What data visualization is
  • How visualization may mislead, and how it can tell the truth
  • Data preparation

VIDEOS:

1.0 Introduction

  • WATCH VIDEO

  • 1.1 What Visualization Is

  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 1.2 Elements of Visualization

  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 1.3 Identifying Encodings

  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 1.4 The Core Principles

  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 1.5 What Comes Next

  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPTS



    SOFTWARE VIDEOS:

    Data Cleaning with Excel

  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Excel Pivot Tables

  • WATCH VIDEO 1
  • WATCH VIDEO 2


  • INTRODUCTION TO DATA WRANGLER:

    Part 1: Introduction

  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Part 2: Wide To Long

  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Part 3: Cleaning the Data File

  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Part 4: Adding Header in Wrangler

  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Part 5: Wrangling

  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Part 6: Final Thoughts

  • WATCH VIDEO


  • EXCEL DOWNLOADS FOR WRANGLER VIDEOS:

    DOWNLOADS EXCELS



    READINGS:

    The Truthful Art, Introduction

  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • The Truthful Art, Chapter 3

  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Data Visualization for Human Perception

  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Misleading Visuals

  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Tidy Data

  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Shaping Data with Wrangler

  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • MODULE 2: VISUALIZATION TO FIND STORIES IN DATA


    GOALS

    This module covers how visualization can be used to explore and discover features that often hide behind data. The materials will show you how to use software tools that will allow you to import a data set and then visualize it in multiple ways to reveal patterns and exceptions to those patterns.


    MODULE 2 WILL COVER:
    • INZight for data exploration
    • Schools in Miami-Dade County
    • Using histograms and seeing summary statistics
    • Scatter plots. Trends and outliers
    • Using maps

    VIDEOS:
    2.0 Introduction
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • 2.1 Visualization for Discovery
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 2.2 Exploring The Data
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 2.3 Finding Compelling Data
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 2.4 Making maps with iNZight
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPTS


    INZIGHT VIDEOS:
    Introduction to iNZight
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • iNZight and Loading Data
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Summary Statistics
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Reading Histograms and Box Plots
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Comparing Distributions and Exporting Files
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Summary for Subsets and Scatter Plots
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Coloring by Variable
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Exploring Correlations
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Rough Maps with INZight
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Reminder of Desktop Features
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Exploring by Sorting Data
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Creating New Variables
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Exporting Dataset
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • INZight and Gapminder
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • EXCEL DOWNLOADS FOR INZIGHT:

    DOWNLOAD EXCEL



    READINGS:
    The Truthful Art, Chapter 6
  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • An Economist Guide to Visualizing Data
  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Visual Encoding
  • DOWNLOAD PDF


  • EXERCISE:
  • Look for an interesting data set in public sources (https://data.worldbank.org/ or any other public source for global, national, or local data), explore it, and write down what interesting features you've find in it. Remember that visualization never gives you answers, but it can suggest what leads to follow, by revealing compelling facts hidden in the data.



  • MODULE 3: VISUALIZATION FOR COMMUNICATION


    GOALS
    This module explains how visualization can be used to communicate with the public. The video classes will show you how to use a Google tool called Flourish, to design static and interactive maps and charts, and then put them together in sequential narratives.

    MODULE 3 WILL COVER:
  • How to choose graphic forms for your data
  • Stories with charts and maps
  • Visual design for communication
  • Software tools: an introduction to this week’s practical videos

  • VIDEOS:
    3.1 Choosing Encoding
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 3.2 The Encoding Hierarchy
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 3.3 Design for Understanding
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 3.4 Words
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPTS


    READINGS:
    The Truthful Art, Chapter 5:
  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • The visual vocabulary:
  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • What to consider when creating maps:
  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Your Friendly Guide to Colors in Data Visualization:
  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • Finding the Right Color Palettes for Data Visualizations
  • DOWNLOAD PDF


  • FLOURISH VIDEOS:
    Introduction to Flourish
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Overview and Templates
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Basic World Map
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Adding More Maps and Interaction
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Animated Scatter Plot
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Facet and Stories
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • County Level Bubble Map
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Preparing Data Before Uploading
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Diverging Map
  • DOWNLOAD PDF

  • More Maps and Plots
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • Story and End
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • EXCEL DOWNLOADS FOR FLOURISH:

    DOWNLOAD


    EXERCISE:

    1. Take the U.S county data set used in the Flourish tutorials and see whether you can design a compelling visualization (or a series of visualizations, forming a story) based on the data. For instance:

  • Is there a relationship between poverty and obesity? Or between poverty and other variables?
  • Are the results of the 2016 presidential elections related to other variables?

  • Is the percentage of minority population in a county related to voting patterns?
  • You can also focus on a specific state.

  • 2. To design this project you may need to do more than merely visualize data. Try to find papers or articles that may help you make your visual story more solid.


    3. You are not limited to the data file I used in the tutorial. You can look for complementary datasets if you need to.




    MODULE 4: WHERE TO GO FROM HERE


    GOALS

    This module is focused on designing a visualization based on a topic and data sets of your choice.


    MODULE 4 WILL COVER:
  • What you’ve learned from the course materials and what other resources you can consult to keep learning about visualization.
  • Live Hangout: An Interview with Google News Lab’s Simon Rogers. WATCH VIDEO

  • VIDEOS:
    4.1 Books
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 4.2 Resources
  • WATCH VIDEO
  • POWERPOINT PRESENTATION

  • 4.3 Data Visualization for Storytelling and Discovery: Final Thoughts
  • WATCH VIDEO

  • DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPTS


    EXERCISE:

    Design a personal visualization. Choose any topic, choose a data set, and build a visualization based on it. We can give students ideas ("Does economic growth lead to more CO2 emissions?”) but this should largely be their personal exercise.



    We hope you enjoyed these materials. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu.





    MEET THE INSTRUCTOR

    Alberto Cairo is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami. He’s also the director of the visualization program at UM’s Center for Computational Science. Cairo has been a director of infographics and multimedia at news publications in Spain (El Mundo, 2000-2005) and Brazil (Editora Globo, 2010-2012,) and a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Besides teaching at UM, he works as a freelancer and permanent consultant for companies like Google. He’s the author of the books The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (2012) and The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication.