Digging into data for stories: A crash course in Excel - *pre-registered attendees only

  • Event: 2019 CAR Conference
  • Speakers: Sarah Hutchins of IRE and NICAR; Denise Malan of IRE and NICAR; Charles Minshew of IRE and NICAR; Cody Winchester of IRE and NICAR
  • Date/Time: Friday, Mar. 8 at 2:15pm
  • Location: Salon 4
  • Audio file: No audio file available.

Skill level: Beginner



Get started with using data in your stories with IRE's original mini-boot camp. In this 9-hour, hands-on workshop, IRE’s experienced trainers will start with the basics of navigating Excel and using formulas, then walk you through sorting, filtering and aggregating data with PivotTables to find story ideas.

You'll come away with a solid base for using data analysis in your newsroom, including how to find and request data, identify and clean dirty data, find story ideas and bulletproof your work. 

We’ll also provide you with our detailed boot camp materials to help keep you on track long after you leave the conference. 

Preregistration is required and seating is limited. Laptops will be provided for the training.


Workshop prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this workshop and beginners are welcome. This workshop is good for those wanting to get started analyzing data for stories.

Workshop times are Friday, March 8, 2:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.; Saturday, March 9, 2:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.; Sunday, March 10, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Registration for this session reserves your seat for all days of this workshop and attendees are expected to attend all sessions to complete the workshop.)

NOTE: Registration is required for this session. Click here to sign up.

Speaker Bios

  • Sarah Hutchins is IRE & NICAR's editorial director. She leads a team that produces the IRE Radio Podcast, the IRE Journal magazine and more. Before joining IRE in 2014, Sarah worked as a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, VA. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a master's degree in data science and analytics from the University of Missouri. @sarhutch

  • Denise Malan is senior training director at IRE. She was a newspaper journalist for more than a decade, covering government, education, politics, the environment and more. After several years at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in Texas, she joined IRE in 2013 in a joint position with the Institute for Nonprofit News, helping newsrooms around the country use data in their reporting. She became a training director in 2016.

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    Charles Minshew is the Director of Data Services for IRE and NICAR. He helps maintain the Database Library and helps members with custom data analysis needs. He most recently worked as a multimedia artist at the Orlando Sentinel, specializing in data visualization and analysis. He was also a member of the Denver Post staff that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the Aurora theater massacre. A 2013 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Georgia Southern University, Charles is a native of Rochelle, Ga. @CharlesMinshew

  • Cody Winchester has been a watchdog reporter, data specialist and web developer for daily newspapers in South Dakota, Nebraska and Texas. Before joining IRE as a training director in April 2017, he was a news applications specialist at the Austin American-Statesman.

Related Tipsheets

No tipsheets have yet been uploaded for this event.