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 a training director for IRE & NICAR. She previously served as the organization’s editorial director, overseeing IRE’s publications and online platforms. Sarah has worked for daily newspapers in several states. Before joining IRE in 2014, she was a reporter at The Virginian-Pilot. Sarah 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 IRE's Deputy Executive Director, overseeing all training programs, event logistics and the IRE Resource Center. 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. 

  • Charles Minshew is the Director of Data Services for IRE and NICAR. He leads the Database Library, helps members with data analysis and is a trainer. An award-winning data journalist, he previously worked at the Orlando Sentinel and was a on the Denver Post team that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. A 2013 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and Georgia Southern University, Charles is a native of Rochelle, Ga.

  • Cody is a training director at Investigative Reporters & Editors. Before joining IRE, he worked at newspapers in Texas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

Related Tipsheets

No tipsheets have yet been uploaded for this event.