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CAIR: Boot Camp Agenda

Database 101 CAIR Boot Camp Schedule
Bloomberg Training Center
Eric Friedheim Library, National Press Club


Friday:
9:00-9:30
Welcome and Introduction: Overview of Computer-Assisted Investigative Reporting
Mark Tapscott, Editorial Page Editor
The Washington Examiner
Textbook: Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide by Brant Houston, Executive Director, Investigative Reporters & Editors


9:30-10:20
Session One: Introduction to using Excel in reporting and research
Session Covers: Spreadsheet basics, calculating averages and percentages, using formulas,
etc.
Session Goal: Become comfortable in using spreadsheets to analyze data
Instructor: Tapscott
Database: Mayor Campbell Staff Compensation


10:20-10:30
Break


10:30-Noon
Session Two: Using Excel Continued
Session Covers: Using sorting, filters, other Excel tools, plus a team
application exercise
Session Goal: Building confidence in using Excel
Instructor: Tapscott
Database: Mayor Campbell Staff Compensation


12:00-1:15
Lunch Break (In National Press Club’s Reliable Source restaurant)


1:15-2:30
Session Three: Where to Find Data on the Web/Correlation
Instructor: William Beach, Director, Center for Data Analysis, The
Heritage Foundation
Session Covers: Downloading data from web sites, putting data into
Excel, understanding basics of correlation
Session Goal: Making effective use of Internet data resources


2:30-2:45
Break


2:45-3:30
Session Four: Analyzing campaign finance data
Instructor: Dave Levinthal, Communications Director, Center for
Responsive Politics/OpenSecrets.org
Session Covers: Unlocked campaign finance data, how to access
CRP/OS data resources, finding contributions by individuals, groups
and industries, pitfalls of campaign data
Session Goal: Gain confidence in using campaign finance data and
make maximum use of CRP/OS resources
Databases: CRP/OS Sample Data, Big Bundlers Sample, CRP/OS
Data Dictionaries


3:30-3:40
Break


3:40-5:00
Session Five: Organizing an investigation
Instructor: Bill Allison, Investigative Journalist
Sunlight Foundation
Session Covers: Establishing priorities, focusing on manageable
pieces, avoiding red herrings, etc.