Hands-on Training

The 2016 IRE Conference will offer classes in three computer labs where you can get hands-on experience working with data and software. Topics range from introductory tutorials in data analysis to the use of web and data resources for breaking news.

Look for our “Finding the story” track. These hands-on classes guide you through specific datasets to find potential stories in your community.

Please note: Hands-on classes are first come, first served, and can reach capacity very quickly. In addition to open classes, a limited number of longer hands-on workshops will be offered that require pre-registration and an additional fee. You can register for these workshops when you complete your conference registration. 

Cancellations must be sent via email to [email protected] All cancellations must be in writing. There is a $15 processing fee for each class until June 1. Refunds will not be given for cancellations after June 1 due to the limited seating in these classes. For more information, see below.

 

Map Camp

**This class is full. Please add your name to the waiting list**

Thursday, June 16, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Cost: $60 (must be registered for the conference)

Learn how to uncover interesting news stories by mapping data with geographic information system (GIS) software during our intensive mini-boot camp and receive a free copy of ArcGIS Desktop*.

IRE and NICAR trainers conduct this hands-on training using the latest version of ArcGIS Desktop. We will look at noteworthy stories that have used mapping and show you how to uncover stories using census and other data. You’ll learn how to display data geographically; import and query data; geocode to merge databases with addresses into maps. Attendees will also learn how ArcGIS Online may help as a storytelling platform. In addition, we’ll provide you with our boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference.

Participants should have some experience working with data in a relational database manager, such as Microsoft Access or MySQL. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training. Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop. Please note the desktop software is available only for Windows but ArcGIS Online can be used from any platform.

*Attendees of the boot camp have the option to receive the following discounts from Esri. (1) A free license of ArcGIS Desktop that will not expire and includes one year call-in technical support and upgrades at no cost. Call-in technical support and upgrades are available on a nominal fee basis in year two. (2) A free one-year subscription to ArcGIS Online that includes access to Esri’s Community Analyst database. Please contact the Esri Media Relations team [email protected] for further information. The desktop software is available only for Windows but ArcGIS Online can be used from any platform.

 

Digging into data for stories: A crash course

**This class is full. Please add your name to the waiting list**

Friday, June 17, 9 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.

Cost: $60 (must be registered for the conference)

Even if you’ve never touched a spreadsheet, you will walk away from this day-long workshop able to use Excel for your next investigation. You’ll come away with plenty of story ideas and also learn about publicly available databases that you can download and analyze to produce great local stories.

In this workshop, led by experienced IRE and NICAR trainers, we’ll explore how to use Excel, a fairly simple but powerful spreadsheet application, to begin analyzing data for stories. We’ll start from the beginning with basic formulas and work our way up to summarizing information using PivotTables and more. How do you think about data analysis as a journalist? How do you find the story within the columns and rows? Depending on the experience level of the group we may discuss advanced functions in Excel including data cleaning and more. 

We’ll walk through a number of searchable databases currently available online and show you how you can download information into a spreadsheet so you can start analyzing data as soon as you leave the workshop. 

No previous experience is required for this workshop. Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop. Laptops will be provided for the training.

 

Coding for Journalists

**This class is full. Please add your name to the waiting list**

Saturday, June 18, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 19, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Cost: $70 (must be registered for the conference)

Over the course of two half-day sessions, this workshop will cover the ways basic programming in Python can collect data for stories from the web, assist with some repetitive tasks you’ve probably been doing by hand and generally speed up your reporting. This hands-on training will cover the fundamental coding concepts and libraries you need to know about, as well as how to apply them to your own stories.

This course is designed for coding beginners who already have some experience with spreadsheets, SQL, the computer command line and basic HTML. You will need to attend both parts of the workshop (Saturday and Sunday mornings, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.). Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Attendees must be registered for the conference to attend this workshop. Laptops will be provided for the training.