Picture from Triangle Open Data Day 2014 - pictures by Mitch Amiano

TODD2016 – Keynote and Schedule

Raleigh, NC – The Schedule and Keynote for Triangle Open Data Day 2016 (TODD) have been announced: Read more

Triangle Open Data Day - Picture by Reid Serozi

Triangle Open Data Day 2016

Raleigh, NC – Registration for Triangle Open Data Day 2016 (TODD) is open and tickets are going fast. We sold out all of the last 3 years and are expecting another sell-out crowd this year. We will be in the same location in the Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus which has proved to be a great place to hold TODD.

Triangle Open Data Day LogoThis 4th year of TODD we will again be putting more focus on the hackathon to bring value to our Triangle cities by reuse of their high value open data datasets. We are identifying mentors that can help you start and rapidly progress on an open data project of your own interest. We are looking for mentors with programming, start-ups, data analysis and open data skills to help us out at the event.

For some of you this is a warm up for the NC Datapalooza competition to be held later in the year, so come out and figure out what sort of winning project you can start working on for that competition.

Our keynote speakers will be announced soon.

The Triangle Code for America Brigades will also be participating in CodeAcross during TODD 2016.

TODD 2016 Details

  • What: Triangle Open Data Day 2016
  • Where: NCSU Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus, 890 Oval Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • When: Saturday, March 5, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, March 6, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
  • Why: A gathering of citizens in the Triangle to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.
  • Registration Site

Previous Tech Tank Articles on TODD

NC Data4Good

NC Data4Good – Morrisville Nov 7-8

Morrisville, NC – NC Data4Good is a collaboration of Maxpoint, Data Crunch Lab and the Research Triangle Analysts with the United Way of the Greater Triangle to address childhood hunger & food insecurity in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake Counties. Make an impact in the community using your skills for social good.

Some of the questions to explore with data are:

  • What influences childhood hunger?
  • What does childhood hunger affect?
  • Where is food available?
  • Where are current providers of fresh and nutritious foods located?
  • Can resources be accessed through public transportation?

NC Data4Good Details

  • What: NC Data4Good
  • When: Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 8am to 5pm and Sunday, November 8, 2015 from 8:30am to 3pm
  • Where: MaxPoint, 3020 Carrington Mill Blvd, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Why: Give back to the community. Your contribution will make it possible to inform decisions regarding childhood hunger and food insecurity.
  • NC Data4Good Registration Site
Triangle Open Data Day - Picture by Reid Serozi

Triangle Open Data Day 2015

Raleigh, NC – Registration for Triangle Open Data Day 2015 (TODD) is open and tickets are going fast. We sold out last year and are expecting another sell-out crowd this year. We will be in the same location as last year at the Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus which proved to be a great place to hold the event.

Triangle Open Data Day LogoThis year we will be putting more focus on the hackathon and will be identifying mentors that can help you start and rapidly progress on an open data project of your own interest. We are looking for mentors with programming, start-ups, data analysis and open data skills to help us out at the event.

For some of you this is a warm up for the NC Datapalooza competition to be held later in the year, so come out and figure out what sort of winning project you can start working on for that competition.

Our keynote speakers are the Durham CIO team of Kerry Goode and Greg Marrow who will be informing us of the different direction that Durham is taking over many other US cities in their upcoming open data program.

This year you will also be able to interact with the Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC), the local affiliate of the Open Data Institute co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the Web and the overall director of the W3C. Sir Tim states that “Open data and a change of mindset is the next step in the internet revolution”.

The Triangle Code for America Brigades will also be participating in CodeAcross during TODD 2015.

TODD 2015 Details

  • What: Triangle Open Data Day 2015
  • Where: NCSU Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus, 890 Oval Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • When: Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
  • Why: A gathering of citizens in the Triangle to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.
  • Registration Site

Previous Tech Tank Articles on TODD

History of Data Journalism

data journalism

Story by Hal Goodtree from CaryCitizen. Graph from Mortality of the British Army, 1858

Cary, NC – Sometimes, a word or phrase comes into focus around something we already understand, but have not yet named. Such a phrase is data journalism.

Data Journalism

The term data journalism came into focus for me in preparation for moderating a workshop at Cary Open Data Day.

Data journalism is creating content (stories or pictures) based on analysis of statistical information.

The best example of everyday data journalism is in sports. A table of projected rankings of NCAA tournament brackets is data journalism. A chart of salary vs. hitting percentage in Major League Baseball is data journalism.

The best known contemporary individual in data journalism is Nate Silver of The New York Times. Silver accurately predicted the winner of all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the last Presidential election. The interesting thing: Silver did no original research. His analysis was based on everyone else’s polls.

The History of Data Journalism

The Guardian claims the first foray into data journalism in 1821, with an expose on schools in Manchester. They published a table showing the prices paid for public schooling in the British city, revealing a far greater number of public-assistance students than perceived by the population.

The most famous example of 19th century data journalism is the masterpiece study by Florence Nightingale, Mortality of the British Army, 1858.

In the late 1950′s, data journalism took a quantum leap forward with the first “Computer Assisted Reporting” (CAR) of Presidential elections by broadcaster CBS.

In he 1970′s, data journalism was sometimes called “precision reporting.”

The first international data journalism conference was held in Amsterdam in 2010.

3 Steps of Data Journalism

Modern data journalism has three basic steps:

  1. Get Data
  2. Understand the data
  3. Communicate the data

Get the Data

For reporters at ESPN, there is ready access to lots and lots of rich data sets. But often, data journalism requires some finely honed search skills.

Some data is readily available as “streams” – XML or RSS feeds that are easy for machines to read. The City of Washington, DC has an Open Data Catalog.

In many cases, data must be discovered or “liberated,” through carefully combing websites or by initiating a public records request from a government agency.

Understanding the Data

The fundamental principle of analysis is that data does not equal facts. Information is not the same as knowledge.

Understanding the data is about creating plausible context in which the information makes sense.

Communicating the Data

This is where the writers and graphic designers get involved.

Everyday tools like Google Spreadsheets and Microsoft Excel can produce stunning charts and graphs. Popular data journalism features include use of “infographics” – data presented as a picture. Typography often plays an important role is data visualizations.

Another good practice is to include the data set in any presentation. That way, interested parties can see how you derived your conclusions and maybe hack another view or conclusion.

Finally, data journalism today means communicating your results across platforms – a blog, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn all come to mind. But a data visualization about food might find an audience on Pinterest. Or one about music might prove popular on Instagram.

More Information

For my workshop on data journalism, I collected a dozen or so links to examples and more in-depth information.

It’s an open document, so if you have data journalism links to add, please feel free.

More Info: Data Journalism Workshop Links

All About Data Journalism

Graph from Mortality of the British Army, 1858

Cary, NC – Sometimes, a word or phrase comes into focus around something we already understand, but have not yet named. Such a phrase is data journalism. Read more