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Data Skills for Media Professionals: A Basic Guide

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Data Skills for Media Professionals: A Basic Guide

Ken Blake, Jason Reineke

ISBN: 978-1-119-11896-1 October 2019 Wiley-Blackwell 200 Pages

Description

Teaches the basic, yet all-important, data skills required by today’s media professionals

The authors of Data Skills for Media Professionals have assembled a book that teaches key aspects of data analysis, interactive data visualization and online map-making through an introduction to Google Drive, Google Sheets, and Google My Maps, all free, highly intuitive, platform-agnostic tools available to any reader with a computer and a web connection. Delegating the math and design work to these apps leaves readers free to do the kinds of thinking that media professionals do most often: considering what questions to ask, how to ask them, and how to evaluate and communicate the answers.

Although focused on Google apps, the book draws upon complementary aspects of the free QGIS geographic information system, the free XLMiner Analysis ToolPak Add-on for Google Sheets, and the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel spreadsheet application. Worked examples rely on frequently updated data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Election Commission, the National Bridge Inventory of structurally deficient bridges, and other federal sources, giving readers the option of immediately applying what they learn to current data they can localize to any area in the United States. The book offers chapters covering: basic data analysis; data visualization; making online maps; Microsoft Excel and pivot tables; matching records with Excel's VLOOKUP function; basic descriptive and inferential statistics; and other functions, tools and techniques. 

  • Serves as an excellent supplemental text for easily adding data skills instruction to courses in beginning or advanced writing and reporting
  • Features computer screen captures that illustrate each step of each procedure
  • Offers downloadable datasets from a companion web page to help students implement the techniques themselves
  • Shows realistic examples that illustrate how to perform each technique and how to use it on the job

Data Skills of Media Professionals is an excellent book for students taking skills courses in the more than 100 ACEJMC-accredited journalism and mass communication programs across the United States. It would also greatly benefit those enrolled in advanced or specialized reporting courses, including courses dedicated solely to teaching data skills.

Preface

Chapter 1 Basic Data Analysis 

Some Example Data 

An Introductory Tool: Google Sheets

Getting the Data into a Google Sheet 

Getting a Fixed Copy of the Data 

Formatting the Data 

Cleaning the Data 

Planning your Analysis 

Filtering 

Calculating 

Labeling and Tidying Up 

Sorting

Where's the “Save” Button? 

Writing About the Analysis Results 

Recap 

Chapter 2 Data Visualization 

Preparing Your Data 

Making a Column Chart 

Publishing the Chart to the Web 

Choosing the Right Type of Chart 

Recap 

Chapter 3 Making Online Maps 

Downloading a Shapefile 

Importing the Shapefile into QGIS 

Examining the Shapefile and Joining it with the Unemployment Data 

Customizing and Publishing the Map file with Google My Maps 

Mapping Specific Points with Latitude and Longitude Coordinates 

Mapping Specific Points with Addresses 

Making a Map When You Have no Geolocation Data to Import 

Recap 

Chapter 4 Microsoft Excel and PivotTables 

Introducing PivotTables 

Getting Started: Aggregating Contributions by City 

Using the PivotTable Tool’s “Filters” Box 

Using the PivotTable Tool’s “Columns” Box 

Investigating Relatedness 

Spotting the Absence of a Relationship 

Downloading Campaign Finance Data from the Federal Election Commission 

Excel vs. Google Sheets 

Recap 

Chapter 5 Matching Records with Excel's VLOOKUP

Overview 

Aggregating each Candidate's Donations by Source 

Using VLOOKUP 

Using Filters to Create a Classification Column 

VLOOKUP Pitfalls 

Recap 

Chapter 6 Excel and Inferential Statistics 

Sampling and Assumptions of Inferential Statistics 

Getting the Data and Installing the XLMiner Google Sheets Add-on 

Computing and Understanding Basic Inferential Statistics 

Descriptive Statistics and Confidence Intervals 

The One-sample T-Test 

The One-sample Chi Square Test 

Knowing which Test to Use 

Computing and Understanding Basic Bivariate Statistics 

Two-sample T-Tests 

Chi-square Analysis of a PivotTable 

Correlation Between Two Continuous Variables: Regression 

Recap 

Chapter 7 Other Functions, Tools and Techniques 

DATE, NOW, and DATEDIF 

AVERAGE, STDEV, MEDIAN, MIN, MAX 

RAND 

LEFT, MID, and RIGHT 

The "Text to Columns" Wizard 

CONCATENATE 

IF and IFS 

COMBIN and PERMUT 

Google Forms 

Comparing Numbers Over Time 

Adjusting for Inflation 

Adjusting for Population Changes 

Recap 

Index