Tipsheets

Browse more 5,000 tipsheets from our national conferences and Watchdog Workshops on how to cover specific beats, conduct a great interview and learn countless tips on where to find the information you need.

Logged-in members can download any tipsheet, for free. Contact the Resource Center 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org for questions.

Search results for "software" ...

  • QGIS 1: Mapmaking for Beginners

    A tipsheet on how to use QGIS to create maps for data exploration and publication.

    Tags: data visualization; mapping; QGIS; data analysis; mapping software

    By Daniel Dunford and Clara Guibourg

    2019

  • Mastering the law to overcome roadblocks to access

    Journalists persistently report certain recurring access barriers (secretive police withholding documents, quasi-public nonprofits claiming to be "private" for FOI purposes, government employees gagged from giving interviews, databases hidden behind proprietary trade-secret software or made prohibitively expensive to duplicate, "student privacy" as a blanket excuse for campus opacity), and there are legal responses and strategies to overcome each of these. Mastering the law of access will help journalists tell their best stories and minimize delay and expense in getting the data and documents that make investigations come alive.

    Tags: public records; public records laws; withholding documents; government employees; hidden databases

    By Carol Marbin Miller and Miranda Spivack

    2018

  • R, RStudio, and the tidyverse for data analysis

    This tutorial is from a class that worked with R, which is a very powerful tool, designed by statisticians for data analysis. Described on its website as “free software environment for statistical computing and graphics,” R is a programming language that opens a world of possibilities for analyzing data. Indeed, just about anything you may want to do with data can be done with R, from web scraping, through statistical analysis and machine learning, to making interactive graphics. http://paldhous.github.io/NICAR/2018/r-analysis.html

    Tags: r; r studio; tidyverse; statistics; data analysis

    By Peter Aldhous

    2018

  • QGIS I

    QGIS is a powerful and complex piece of software but journalists can get excellent results from a couple of relatively simple functions. It’s useful for data exploration as well as for producing data maps for publication, and it’s open source. These are the full follow-along instructions from the NICAR session with a worked example.

    Tags: qgis; maps

    By Christine Jeavans

    2018

  • Basic Stats in PSPP

    Statisticians need to really understand their data (and so do you!) before they begin running analyses. As a result, statistical software packages such as PSPP and SPSS have many powerful tools to summarize your data. You're going to love them. We'll take a look at the structure of data in PSPP, do data transformations and run some basic statistical tests.

    Tags: stats; statistics; pspp

    By Norm Lewis

    2018

  • An Introduction to VisiData

    VisiData is a new tool for quickly exploring datasets. It's fast, powerful and keyboard-driven, and it's often the first piece of software I use to examine new data. With help from this site, you'll learn VisiData's essentials commands — including how to sort, filter, summarize and aggregate. https://jsvine.github.io/intro-to-visidata/

    Tags: visidata; datasets; analysis; software

    By Jeremy Singer-Vine

    2018

  • The Fast & The Mapped: QGIS Basics

    Not all datasets needs to be mapped, but some do! This mapping class is perfect for beginners looking to learn the basics of visualizing geographic data. We'll go over how to find publicly available data, convert addresses to map points, join datasets and use the open source mapping software, QGIS. http://dhmontgomery.com/ire2017/

    Tags: maps; gis; qgis; data; geography; visualizing

    By Alexandra Kanik; David H. Montgomery

    2017

  • ​Transparency​ ​by​ ​Design

    The​ ​problem:​ ​Some agencies say their software won’t export data. Others charge tons of money for data, saying it’s complicated to extract. We can fight them by showing that it’s not that complicated. We ask for the agency’s data dictionary or record layout, which is a document describing the table names, field names and field formats in a database, and then we ask for just the tables and fields we care about. But many agencies say the software vendor won’t let them disclose a data dictionary because it’s a trade secret. The​ ​solution​: Prohibit agencies from putting themselves in such predicaments. Transparency by Design says that any new government technology must offer the ability for an agency to deliver both data and data documentation without restriction.

    Tags: government; foi; documents; data; agency

    By Steve Suo

    2017

  • Getting Data Into Microsoft Access tipsheet

    Microsoft Access is a database management system (dbms), often shortened to “database” or “database software.” A database is a collection of related tables, and a database management system is the interface. Learn the basics of using it with this tipsheet.

    Tags: access; database; management; software

    By Tracy Greer

    2017

  • Getting Data Into Microsoft Access

    This presentation will review the basics of using Microsoft Access. Understanding when Access is the right database software to use, how to enter and import data, and what to look for once you’re staring at a database interface.

    Tags: access; database; software; import

    By Tracy Greer

    2017