Short Courses

OpenUp offers short courses in data-driven storytelling for anyone who uses data or would like to use data to find new insights, spot patterns, trends or anomalies, or communicate effectively using data to their intended audience.

What we offer

OpenUp offers short courses in data-driven storytelling for newsrooms, full-time and freelance journalists, activists, and people working in non-profit and non-governmental organisations.

We also offer data-driven storytelling training for people working in the public and private sectors who need to communicate information in an effective and easy-to-understand way.

Our courses

Introduction to data driven storytelling

A comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of data journalism as a method for practicing storytelling with data

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Sourcing data for storytelling

Understand how to find, extract and transform relevant data into machine readable format, which can then be cleaned and analysed

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Cleaning data for storytelling

Learn how to use data cleaning tools to organise, reorder and shape a dataset so it can be used to effectively tell a story

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Analysing data for storytelling

Understand how to analyse data in order to discover new issues, gain a better understanding of the reality, and to be able to verify facts from sources

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Data visualisation

A comprehensive introduction to visualising data by focusing on the creation and integration of data visualisations in the form of interactive charts and graphs, infographics and maps

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Introduction to data driven storytelling Interested?

Open data initiatives and data literacy have become increasingly important as the digital age opens up new ways for people to access and interrogate information. Convergence between government, academia, media and technology means that these data-driven pursuits can be used for the benefit of society. As a result, data driven storytelling plays a pivotal role in communicating the fruits of this convergence across the globe.

This course presents a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of data journalism as a method for practicing storytelling with data.

It walks participants through what data is, who works with it, and what can be done with data. It also provides participants with a blueprint to follow in order to effectively process data to prepare it for storytelling, in the form of the data pipeline.

Length
Can range from a one to three day course depending on the required modules
Audience
Anyone who uses data or would like to use data to find new insights, spot patterns, trends or anomalies, or communicate effectively using data to their intended audience.
Level
Basic to intermediate
Requirements
Participants need to have access to their own laptops and an activated Google account.
  • Equip participants with the core concepts and terminology used in the field of data journalism so they are able to critically engage in discussions around the role of data in communication
  • Introduction to what data is and the terminology associated with working with data
  • Insight into the different roles, skills and workflow that make up a data unit
  • Introduction to the fundamental stages of processing data required in developing a data driven story
  • Establish a set of principles and guidelines to consider when planning and producing a data driven story through the analysis and critique of data driven stories published in newsrooms across the globe
  • Interview a dataset through a journalistic lens to mine for potential stories
  • Introduction to online resources and existing tools that leverage data to tell a different story about the society we live in
  • From departments to resources: insight into the transformation of the newsroom in support of a data unit

Interested? Get in touch

Sourcing data for storytelling Interested?

In today’s world, information is being transformed into data. A key ability for a data storyteller is to be able to find, extract and transform relevant data into machine readable format. Sourcing and scraping data is the very first step of any data process, or the Data Pipeline. Once relevant data has been sourced and extracted into machine readable format, it can then be cleaned and then analysed.

Length
Can range between one and two days
Audience
Anyone who uses data or would like to use data to find new insights, spot patterns, trends or anomalies, or communicate effectively using data to their intended audience.
Level
Basic to intermediate
Requirements
Participants must have access to their own laptop, an activated Google account, and a Google Chrome web browser installed on their laptops
  • Identify Data Sourcing as a distinct stage in the Data Pipeline
  • Understand the legal resources available in order to acquire public interest information (PAIA)
  • Source data through a deep search online
  • Open data portals & information formatting
  • Use Google advanced & Google academic search engines
  • Finding data using wayback web pages, cache functions and files hidden from browsers, add-ons & URL patterns
  • Build own datasets when no other information is available
  • Scrape information from pdf’s and scanned, .PNG, .JPEG image formats
  • Scrape information from online sources into structured format

Interested? Get in touch

Cleaning data for storytelling Interested?

It’s not enough to have access to information, it is necessary to understand the correct way to organise, reorder and shape a dataset dependant on the need or the angle of a story. Data cleaning tools allow those working with data to correct typo’s or other errors that can creep into datasets through different data capture methods.

Length
Two days
Audience
Anyone who uses data or would like to use data to find new insights, spot patterns, trends or anomalies, or communicate effectively using data to their intended audience.
Level
Basic to intermediate
Requirements
Participants must have access to their own laptop, an activated Google account, and a Google Chrome web browser installed on their laptops
  • Identify data cleaning as a distinct stage in the data pipeline
  • Understand how to organise and manage datasets dependant on requirements
  • Purpose based information formatting
  • Use open source tools to clean data for the purposes of analysis
  • Understand structured formats
  • Clean typos or data capture errors in an automated environment
  • Find and fix inconsistencies in data
  • Understand comprehensive functionality of open source data cleaning software

Interested? Get in touch

Analysing data for storytelling Interested?

In today’s world, information is being transformed into data. Journalists need to understand how to analyse this data in order to discover new issues, gain a better understanding of the reality, and to be able to verify facts from sources.

This brings power to accountability, where data is the common language and will disclose any information that is hidden. A spreadsheet forms the knowledge base that provides the springboard for those wishing to tell stories using data into the world of data analysis.

Length
Two days
Audience
Anyone who uses data or would like to use data to find new insights, spot patterns, trends or anomalies, or communicate effectively using data to their intended audience.
Level
Basic to intermediate
Requirements
Very little data is ready for analysis without some cleaning required. It's therefore important to ensure that data cleaning is understood before data analysis is learnt. Participants must also have access to their own laptop, an activated Google account, and a Google Chrome web browser installed on their laptops
  • Identify data analysis as a distinct stage in the data pipeline
  • Explore data and navigate spreadsheets
  • Manage small to medium datasets
  • Analyse and identify trends and patterns in data
  • Find new angles hidden within datasets
  • Compose basic overviews of data utilising pivot tables
  • Combine different sources of data in order to enrich a dataset
  • Perform comprehensive spreadsheet functionality

Interested? Get in touch

Data visualisation Interested?

Visualising data is one of the final ways in which we package data for communication. To do this effectively we need a clear understanding of which portion of our data tells or enriches our story, understanding what our audience requires in order to interpret or access the information in our visualisation and how to translate that understanding into our visualisation through wielding basic design elements such as colour, type and composition.

This course presents a comprehensive introduction to visualising your data for the purposes of storytelling by focusing on the creation and integration of data visualisations in the form of interactive charts and graphs, infographics and maps suitable for use in both print and digital environments.

Length
Can range between one and three days depending on the required modules
Audience
Anyone who uses data or would like to use data to find new insights, spot patterns, trends or anomalies, or communicate effectively using data to their intended audience.
Level
Basic to intermediate
Requirements
Participants must have access to their own laptop, an activated Google account, and a Google Chrome web browser installed on their laptops
  • Identify Data Visualisation as a distinct stage in the Data Pipeline
  • Distinguish the role of function and purpose in the production of a data visualisation
  • From paper to screen: an introduction to user experience design and wireframing
  • Apply foundational design principles (colour theory, composition and typography) to the production of data visualisations
  • Understand the correct usage of static versus interactive data visualisations
  • Demonstrate an awareness of mobile-friendly and responsive design
  • Differentiate between different data visualisation tools
  • Identify which tool to use in which circumstance
  • Become familiar with the use of different data visualisation tools
  • Be able to embed data visualisations into stories with ease
  • Understand the basics of embed codes and troubleshoot some problems that can arise when integrating your visualisation into an online environment

Interested? Get in touch