7/7 Webinar: Excel Basics for Analyzing Health Data
Jun 26th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Paul Overberg is one of the very best in our business.  Yeah, we’re old friends, but he’s still one of the best.  Take advantage of what he will have to say.

With the explosion of public health data online, more journalists than ever need analytical tools in their daily work. This webinar will teach newcomers how to use a spreadsheet to do simple data cleanup and analysis for journalism. The webinar will be led by Paul Overberg, former data editor of USA Today.

Excellent progress at the City of Albuquerque’s Open Data site
Jun 23rd, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Kudos to the City of Albuquerque for its ABQ Data site at   Especially helpful is that it includes links to the data set’s Metadata —  Something not see enough.  Bravo, señores, bravo.

Fiscal Data Visualisations
Jun 22nd, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Some fascinating of data visualizations from around the world compiled by Jonathan Gray.  This demonstrates that the concept “Open Data” wasn’t just discovered this year.  Check out

PDF Tables: Outstanding tool extracts tables to Excel
Jun 13th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

I just gave this a spin using the City of Santa Fe 2015 budget, a 150-pager.  Seemed to be very fast in the conversion and quite accurate.  Unless you need the text, it is even faster if you edit out text pages and just run those pages containing the desired tables.  The result is that each page becomes a separate Excel page, then they can be sliced-and-diced as necessary.

Kudos to the ScraperWiki folks.

Accurately extract tables from PDFs
No more time consuming and error prone copying and pasting


When data journalism meets science
Jun 11th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

We missed this when originally published last fall, but still quite timely.  And we didn’t know of the existence of the International School of Science Journalism.

When data journalism meets science 

Introductory lesson about data journalism within science journalism and science communication during the International School of Science Journalism 2014 in Erice (June 10th, 2014)


New CMS can help monetizing quality journalism (FFx)
May 30th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Good piece by Frederic Filloux

Monetizing digital journalism requires one key ingredient: Causing quality contents to emerge from the internet’s background noise. New kinds of Content Management Systems and appropriate syntax can help in a decisive way. 

Until now, mining good journalism from the web’s depths has been done from the top. Over the last 13 years, looking for “signals” that flag quality content has been at the core of Google News: With a search engine scanning and ranking 50,000 sources in 30 languages and 72 editions, its inventor, the famous computer Scientist Krishna Bharat, has taken his extraordinary breakthrough to an immense scale. [more]

Webinar: Getting your data into R
May 27th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Webinar Invitation
Date: June 10th, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM EDT



You can’t use R for data analysis unless you can get your data into R. Getting your data into R can be a major hassle, so in the last few months Hadley has been working hard to make it easier.

In this webinar Hadley will discuss the places you most often find data (databases, excel, text files, other statistical packages, web apis, and web pages) and the packages (DBI, xml2, jsonlite, haven, readr, exel) that make it easy to get your data into R.

HadleyHadley Wickham – Hadley is Chief Scientist at RStudio and Adjunct Professor of Statistics at Rice University. His work includes R packages for data analysis (ggplot2plyrreshape2); packages that make R less frustrating (lubridate for datesstringr for stringshttr for accessing web APIs); and that make it easier to do good software development in R (roxygen2testthat,devtoolslineprofstaticdocs). He is also a writer, educator, and frequent contributor to conferences promoting more accessible and more effective data analysis. GitHub

Best Regards,

Webinar Recordings:

All of our previous webinars have been recorded and can be found here:


Previous Webinars include:

  • The Grammar and Graphics of Data Science

  • Reproducible Reporting

  • Interactive Reporting

  • Managing package dependencies in R with packrat

  • Data wrangling with R & RStudio

  • Version control with git, github and RStudio

  • Creating JavaScript data visualizations in R

  • overview and Tour

  • Dynamic Dashboards with Shiny

  • How to Convert R Code to Shiny Code

Socrata: Analyze all the datasets
May 25th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

Socrata is a growing outfit that manages DBs for cities and non-profits.  This guy did a nice how-to page of his work with Socrata, and we thank him.!/socrata-summary/

New skills for new challenges
May 20th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

May 18, 2015

“In this era, when data journalism is seen as a way forward to deal with difficult issues in a balanced, unbiased manner, it is important to understand the rules that govern statistical data collection.
A.S. Paneerselvam

“Last week, Special Public Prosecutor B.V. Acharya said that a glaring arithmetical error by the Karnataka High Court in computing the loans taken from banks by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa, her aides and their firms resulted in their acquittal. While it is for the highest judiciary to decide on the exactness of computation of loans and the legitimate income in Ms. Jayalalithaa’s case, it raises an interesting question about the skills journalists need to possess to evaluate facts.

One of the early lessons I learnt about being a journalist was the importance of constant skill enhancement and the need for comprehensive revision of domain expertise…”[MORE]

Washington Post Build App for Breaking News Freelancers
May 19th, 2015 by Tom Johnson

So cool: The @washingtonpost Talent Network. Like Uber or Task Rabbit, but to hire freelance reporters. Retweet from Mariam Rom

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