How would you describe simple basic data skills? What is that for you? A: Knowing your way around the spreadsheet, having some basic understanding of statistics. Having the ability to do some simple things like importing some data into a spreadsheet, a desktop database manager like Access, doing some basic queries, sorts. I teach and have taught for years basic computer-assisted reporting and I do it in this one-day class. Nobody believes me, but it’s totally true: In one day – ONE DAY – we can teach you the skills that if mastered would allow you to do 80 percent of all the computer-assisted reporting that has ever been done. This is importing a spreadsheet, doing some basic math, knowing what a sum is, what a mode, a median, what an average is. I mean, being able to take a dataset, to do some basic count. I mean, this is not rocket science, for the most part. But even most of what I’ve described to you is beyond most reporters in most newsrooms.

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