NICAR

The Data Library at

NICAR

The National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) is a program of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. and the Missouri School of Journalism. Since 1989, NICAR has trained thousands of journalists in the practical skills of getting and analyzing electronic information and also maintains a library of databases containing government data on a wide array of subjects, available for purchase by IRE members.

Get data from us

Search our databases and find the data you need for your investigation

Hire us for data jobs

If you need data cleaned, analyzed or mapped, NICAR can help 

Learn to use data

Attend our conference or one of our boot camps or explore our tutorials

How to survive your first CAR story

By Jennifer Johnson, The Grand Forks Herald

Spreadsheet programs like Excel have always intimidated me. Sure, I dabbled in them a few times. I pulled up pre-formatted sheets and leafed through them. I used basic formulas and figured out percentages. And I also attended a two-day IRE training with fellow reporters at the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, where I'm the education reporter.

Anyone with experience will tell you that the only way to learn a program is by consistent use. Our newsroom had the training in February and by the time I started the project in earnest last ...

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The road to health is paved with good data

This was originally published on the ProPublica Nerd Blog.

By Ryann Grochowski Jones, ProPublica

I think I’m a decent arbiter of people’s appreciation of data. I worked at IRE’s data library as a grad student and I’ve attended four consecutive NICAR conferences. At ProPublica, I work with complex data sets every day. I help run our data store, so I can see how excited data-savvy reporters can get when working with great data sets.  So you’ll forgive me if I viewed attending Health Datapalooza with a small bit of skepticism.  Surely, I thought, a bunch ...

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Web scraping: Sessions, tools and a discount

Ever wanted to scrape data from the web but didn't know how? Here's your chance to learn. We're offering two sessions on web scraping at the IRE Conference in San Francisco, June 26-29.

In addition to that, Helium Scraper has given us some coupon codes for a limited number of IRE members to receive 50 percent off the PC software cost of $99. Helium Scraper provides a point-and-click interface for grabbing valuable data locked in web pages.

Anyone interested in the coupon should email Jaimi Dowdell, IRE’s senior training director, at jaimi@ire.org. Coupons are ...

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How Mike Soraghan built an oil spills database

See this post and more like it at NICAR talk, our data blog: ire.org/nicar

Mike Soraghan is an oil and gas reporter at EnergyWire (an arm of E&E Publishing) and former NICAR bootcamper from 2013. For those of you who have been to bootcamp, you remember Open Lab, held (almost) every night after class wraps up for the day. Even back then, Mike was toiling over some nasty-looking data on oil spills.

Last month EnergyWire published Mike's story about smaller oil spills, the kind of spills that don't usually make it into the news but ...

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Updated FBI Uniform Crime Reports now available

The NICAR Database Library has updated the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, one of the best resources for national crime statistics. The most current reports are for 2012.


WHAT’S IN IT?

Law enforcement agencies around the countr​y ​​voluntarily* submit reports to the FBI on what are known as "index" crimes: Murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor-vehicle theft and arson. These crimes are meant to serve as an index for gauging fluctuations in both the overall volume and rate of crime. The data include the number of crimes by agency and by month. Geographic ...

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The beginning of NICAR talk

Welcome to the inauguration of the NICAR talk blog. Here we will discuss all things NICAR: data, FOIA requests, tools, skills, tactics, tips, and anything else that relates to CAR.

Join in the discussion by leaving a thoughtful comment.