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Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Data Visualization for Storytelling and Discovery

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas , Google and Google News Initiative via Independent

Overview

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.

Syllabus

Module 1: INTRODUCTION TO VISUALIZATION PRINCIPLES

GOALS:

This week will offer an introduction to visualization, what it is, how it works, and what ethical considerations are involved in its design. It will also teach how to prepare data before visualizing it, which is something that students will begin doing in Module 2.

Module 1 will cover:

  • What data visualization is
  • Visualization ethics: How visualization may mislead, and how it can tell the truth
  • Data preparation: an explanation of the software videos this week
  • Will include a Data Wrangler tutorial, along with a few external tutorials that will be useful to students who need to learn more about Excel: “Cleaning Data in Excel,” “Introduction to Pivot Tables, Charts, and Dashboards in Excel (Part 1)” and “Introduction to Pivot Tables, Charts, and Dashboards (Part 2)”.

 

Module 2: VISUALIZATION TO FIND STORIES IN DATA

GOALS:

This week will cover how visualization can be used to explore and discover features that often hide behind data. Students will use software tools that will allow them 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

 

Module 3: VISUALIZATION FOR COMMUNICATION

GOALS:

This week will explain how visualization can be used to communicate with the public. Students will be introduced to/will learn to use 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
  • Will include videos on how to use Flourish for data visualization

 

Module 4: WHERE TO GO FROM HERE

GOALS:

Students will design a visualization based on a topic and data sets of their choice.

Module 4 will cover:

  • A look at what students have learned in this course and what other resources they can consult to keep learning about visualization. Students will share results in the discussion forum.
  • A wrap-up that looks at the future of data visualization, as well as pointers for students to consider moving forward.

 

Taught by

Alberto Cairo

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