Data is nice, but how can you do
anything with it?
This mini-course will get you started doing some basic things with data.
We're really focusing on the basics. The only prerequisite is that you have a Mac and some data you want to analyze.
Who is this class for?
These skills are great for journalists and journalism students, bloggers who want to use data and charts for their articles, people in business, or really anyone who wants to go hands-on with the data that is everywhere around us.
What will I learn?
- How to use the Terminal.app that comes included in every Mac
- Move around your filesystem with pwd and cd.
- Look at your files with ls, cat, head, tail and less
- Connect tools together with | pipes |
- Count the lines, bytes and words in any file with wc, sort and uniq
- Extract the relevant columns from your data with awk
- Turn lead into gold with transformers like tr, sed, perl
Once you're comfortable with the above, you'll be able to do pretty magical things! For example, how many screenwriters are listed here? What is the most common first name? And in a future lesson, we'll learn how to figure out which first name has the highest total box office gross.
Note that there are completely other ways to analyze your data, such as Excel, R, Google Fusion Tables, Google Spreadsheets, and many more. This UNIX-based approach is the old-school way.
This is a totally new course, so it will be rough around the edges. We may not get through everything listed above in a single session, depending on people's level of previous experience.
What should I bring?
The class is structured as an interactive tutorial, so please bring a Mac laptop. Also, in advance of the course, please send me the file(s) you'd like to analyze, and a few questions you are hoping to answer about them. Please also indicate your level of experience with the tools listed above.
I'm looking forward to meeting you!
Update: celebrity endorsement! Previous Fun With Data 101 student @__bernie
"Fun With Data 101" the @skillshare w/ @dsjoerg was super cool...looking forward to using what I learned. http://www.skillshare.com/Fun-With-Data-101/2102901177/1188530870
All fees for this class go to support New Work City, the awesome co-working space that I call home.