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Excel Basics for Analyzing Health Data

With the explosion of public health data online, more journalists than ever need analytical tools in their daily work. Think of data as just another source to interview, along with people and documents. Using a spreadsheet for simple tasks makes a journalist better at finding a story, fending off bogus ideas and sharpening the questions they can ask people. This webinar aims to give newcomers a basic grounding in using a spreadsheet (Excel) to do simple data cleanup and analysis for journalism. This webinar will be led by Paul Overberg.

Paul Overberg

has been a data journalist for more than 20 years, most recently at USA TODAY. He specializes in analyzing demographic trends but has worked on data about everything from Obamacare to stream flows. He has taught data journalism at American University and for professional groups including Investigative Reporters and Editors, Associated Press Media Editors, the Reynolds Institute for Business Journalism at Arizona State and the Society of Professional Journalists.  

WHEN: July 7, 2015, from 10 to 11 a.m. PT / 1 to 2 p.m. ET

Suggested reading —

Excel basics for journalists: 

How journalists can use Excel to organize data for stories,” by Josh Hatch, Poynter

Excel I – Sorting and filtering,” Linda J Johnson,

Excel functions for journalists:

My Favorite (Excel) Things,” by Mary Jo Webster, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Excel 2: Rates and Ratios,” by Denise Malan,

Excel data cleanup for journalists:

My Favorite (Excel) Things,” by Mary Jo Webster, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Associated data and examples:

Excel Tricks 2014 handout data (spreadsheet) 

YouTube videos:

Sarah Cohen videos on filtering, pivot tables, importing

The Age of Insight: Telling Stories with Data

            The Health Matters Webinar series is supported by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. The Center for Health Journalism is solely responsible for the selection of webinar topics and speakers.


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