Data Journalism and Visualization with Free Tools



Instructors: Alberto Cairo, Simon Rogers, and a great team of instructors:

Debra Anderson, Duncan Clark, Jan Diehm, Minhaz Kazi, Dale Markowitz, Marco Túlio Pires, and Katherine Riley






This resource page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America's massive open online course (MOOC) titled "Data Journalism and Visualization with Free Tools." The six-week course took place from October 14 to November 24, 2019. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who's interested in interested in data journalism and visualization.


The course, which was powered by Google News Initiative, was taught by Alberto Cairo, Simon Rogers, and a great team of instructors. They created and curated the content for the course, which includes video classes, readings, exercises, and more.


The course materials are broken up into seven modules:


As you review this resource page, we encourage you to watch the videos, review 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. If you have any questions, please contact us at journalismcourses@austin.utexas.edu.



About the Instructors



Alberto Cairo s 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."



Simon Rogers is an award-winning data journalist, writer and speaker. Author of "Facts are Sacred," published by Faber & Faber in the UK, China and South Korea. He has also written a range of infographics for children books from Candlewick. Data editor on the News Lab team at Google, based in San Francisco, he is director of the Data Journalism Awards and teaches Data Journalism at Medill-Northwestern University in San Francisco and has taught at U Cal Berkeley Journalism school.



Marco Túlio Pires is the Google News Lab Lead for Brazil. Before joining Google in 2017, Marco was School of Data’s program manager, a global network of organizations and trainers that help journalists and NGOs how to use data with maximum impact. Marco cofounded in 2015 the first data journalism agency in Brazil, journalismo++, part of the international j++ network of data-driven agencies. He also worked as a production coordinator at TV Globo, as a science news reporter at VEJA, and as an innovation, transparency and technology officer at the Social Development Office in the government of São Paulo. Marco holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, and he also studied Electrical Engineering at the Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais; Computer Science, Management for Social Impact and Information Visualization at the University of Michigan and Georgetown University. Today he supports publishers, journalists and media entrepreneurs in Brazil and Latin America with the best Google can offer so that they can build the future of media and tell the best stories of our time.



Jan Diehm is a journalist-engineer with The Pudding, where she uses data to craft visual stories. Before joining The Pudding, she had stops at CNN, The Guardian US, ABC News, HuffPost, the Baltimore Sun, and the Hartford Courant. She appreciates the finer things in life: LEGO sets, southern delicacies like pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and good bourbon, and vintage Britney Spears. She lives in San Antonio with her wife and two cats.



Minhaz Kazi is a Developer Advocate at Google, focusing on Google Data Studio. A business intelligence veteran, Minhaz is always exploring new ways for developers to collect, analyze, and visualize data. He is available for long discussions on circular reference errors, benefits of pie charts, SQL commas, and the design of everyday things.



Dale Markowitz is an Applied AI Developer at Google Cloud. She works to help software engineers understand machine learning and serves as a technical advisor to the Google News Lab. Previously she worked in natural language processing for Google Research and at the online dating site OkCupid.



Duncan Clark is Co-founder of Flourish, a platform for data visualization and interactive storytelling. Flourish grew out of the award-winning work that Duncan and his co-founder Robin Houston produced through their data studio Kiln for clients such as Google, the Guardian, LSE and the UK government. Duncan was previously a data journalist, publisher and author. He worked as a consultant editor at the Guardian, as an executive editor at Penguin Books and Profile. His book, "The Burning Question" – coauthored with Mike Berners-Lee and written as as honorary researcher at University College London – is a data-driven look at global energy use and climate change.



Katherine Riley writes blogs and creates visualizations to showcase new Flourish features and templates, in addition to supporting newsroom users. She was previously a Google News Fellow at the Financial Times and an Editorial Fellow at The Atlantic.





Debra Anderson is a data executive, entrepreneur, speaker and educator recognized for innovative approaches to data storytelling. As Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Datavized Technologies, she developed free and open-source data tools for journalists and newsrooms with the support of Google News Initiative and the Online News Association and built immersive data visualization software using WebXR. She has led workshops at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard WeCode Conference and the United Nations. In 2018 Fast Company named Debra a top business executive and she was a jury member and speaker at the 26th Malofiej Awards and Infographic World Summit. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.




Introduction to the course and the outline of topics


Introduction

1. Welcome video

Watch Video

2. Course syllabus

Syllabus



Materials



Finding and getting data


In this module you will learn to:

  • Find usable data online
  • Assess sources of data
  • Understand different data file formats
  • Download the data

Video Classes

1. Why data journalism isn't magic

Watch Video Transcript Dataset Dataset Dataset

2. Examples of the data stories you'll learn about in this MOOC

Watch Video Transcript Slides

3. Finding & Getting Data - Advanced Search with Google

Watch Video Transcript

4. Finding & Getting Data - Google Dataset Search

Watch Video Transcript

5. Finding & Getting Data - Google Public Data Explorer

Watch Video Transcript

6. Finding & Getting Data - Google Sheet's import HTML

Watch Video Transcript Dataset

7. Finding & Getting Data - Web Scraper

Watch Video Transcript



Readings



Preparing data


In this module you will learn to:

  • Process and clean data
  • Get the data ready to be analyzed and visualized
  • Develop good practices in data processing

Video Classes

1. Introduction to the Module: Getting Your Data Ready

Watch Video Transcript

2. Preparing Data - Data Integrity

Watch Video Transcript

3. Preparing Data - Cleaning data with Google Sheets

Watch Video Transcript Dataset

4. Preparing Data - Cleaning with Google Cloud Dataprep

Watch Video Transcript Dataset

5. Preparing Data - Cleaning Data with OpenRefine

Watch Video Transcript



Readings

1. Putting data back into context by Catherine D'Ignazio

2. Google Sheets function list [Google]



Optional Resources

1. Tidy Data by Hadley Wickham [Journal of Statistical Software]



Finding stories in data


In this module you will learn to:

  • Identify potential insights in data sets
  • Use free tools to conduct basic exploratory analysis

Video Classes

1. Introduction to the Module: Extracting Insights from Data

Watch Video Transcript

2. Anyone can be a data journalist

Watch Video Transcript Slides

3. Introduction to Data Studio

Watch Video Transcript

4. Getting started with Data Studio

Watch Video Transcript

5. How does Data Studio work?

Watch Video Transcript

6. Create a report in Data Studio

Watch Video TranscriptDataset

7. Adding visualizations and charts to your Data Studio Report

Watch Video Transcript

8. Embedding external content with Data Studio

Watch Video Transcript

9. Sharing your Data Studio Report

Watch Video Transcript

10. Final thoughts with Minhaz Kazi

Watch Video Transcript



Readings



Optional Resources



Machine learning in data journalism


In this module you will learn to:

  • Identify what machine learning is and isn’t
  • See applications of machine learning in newsrooms
  • Use these tools for investigative journalism

Video Classes

1. Introduction to the Module: Machine Learning to Shape Data Stories

Watch Video Transcript

2. Machine Learning for Data Journalism

Watch Video Transcript Slides

3. Understanding Machine Learning

Watch Video Transcript

4. ML in the Newsroom

Watch Video Transcript

5. When to Use Machine Learning

Watch Video Transcript

6. ML Toolbox

Watch Video Transcript



Readings



Optional Resources



Visualizing data


In this module you will learn to:

  • Create visualizations that don’t just consist of designing beautiful maps and charts, but that are understandable
  • Understand essential visualization concepts, such as visual encodings
  • Choose the right chart or map depending on the nature of the data and the messages it’s meant to convey

Video Classes

1. Overview of Module 5

Watch Video Transcript

2. Anybody can learn visualization

Watch Video TranscriptSlides

3. Defining visualizations

Watch Video Transcript

4. Visualization is going mainstream

Watch Video Transcript

5. The elements of a visualization

Watch Video Transcript

6. Identifying encodings

Watch Video Transcript

7. The annotation layer

Watch Video Transcript

8. The “me” layer

Watch Video Transcript

9. How visualizations can lie

Watch Video Transcript

10. Reading too much into a visualization

Watch Video Transcript

11. How to choose the right encodings

Watch Video Transcript

12. The visual vocabulary

Watch Video Transcript

13. The big picture vs. the details

Watch Video Transcript

14. Using multiple encodings

Watch Video Transcript

15. Summary of the module

Watch Video Transcript

16. Intro to Flourish

Watch Video Transcript

17. Flourish Basics: The Data Table, Importing Data, and Column Settings

Watch Video Transcript

18. The Line, Bar and Pie Charts Template

Watch Video Transcript

19. The Scatter Template

Watch Video Transcript

20. The Table Template

Watch Video Transcript

21. Maps! Mapping Templates Overview and the Projection Map Template

Watch Video Transcript

22. The Survey Template and Layout Options

Watch Video Transcript

23. Annotations and Colors

Watch Video Transcript


Readings


Optional Resources

1. TwoTone and Morph Introduction with TwoTone Demo

Watch Video Transcript

2. TwoTone Documentation

Watch Video Transcript

3. TwoTone: Advanced Features

Watch Video Transcript

4. TwoTone: Narration Audio

Watch Video Transcript

5. TwoTone: Single or Multiple Instruments

Watch Video Transcript

6. Morph: Pie Chart Demo

Watch Video Transcript

7. Morph: Radial Area Demo

Watch Video Transcript

8. Morph: Scatter Plot Demo

Watch Video Transcript

9. The Data Journalism Handbook, chapter 7 - Delivering Data [DataJournalism.com]

10. How charts lie: Introduction by Alberto Cairo



Data-driven storytelling


In this module you will learn to:

  • Determine how storytelling fits into the broader data landscape
  • Identify what makes a good data story, and what makes it relatable and memorable
  • Identify the different shapes that data storytelling can take
  • Embrace experimentation, with examples from The Pudding

Video Classes

1. From data to stories: an introduction to the module

Watch Video Transcript Slides

2. What is data storytelling?

Watch Video Transcript

3. The past and present of data storytelling

Watch Video TranscriptField of vision - Concussion protocol (Full Video)

4. How to get from idea to execution

Watch Video Transcript

5. How to make your data stories shine

Watch Video Transcript

6. A look at The Pudding's successes, experiments, and failures

Watch Video Transcript

7. Popups and Making Flourish Visualisations Mobile-Friendly

Watch Video Transcript

8. Exporting & Publishing and One-Slide Stories

Watch Video Transcript

9. Intro to Flourish Stories

Watch Video Transcript

10. Template-Specific Story Tips: Map Stories and Survey Stories

Watch Video Transcript

11. Other Story Features: Basic Slide and Audio/Autoplay

Watch Video Transcript


Readings


Optional Resources