The Data

The Data Institute is a collaboration between The Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, ProPublica, and OpenNews.

This intensive workshop teaches journalists how to use data, design and code. In 2022, the Data Institute will again take place online, over one week of live, intensive instruction, Monday, July 18 – Friday, July 22.

Applications are now closed.

Questions? Check our FAQ or email [email protected].

What You’ll Learn

We’ll cover the basics of brainstorming, reporting, designing and building interactive graphics and data-driven news applications. By the end of the course you should be able to:

Data Journalism

  • Conduct data research and evaluate the reliability of your data.
  • Clean data and analyze data sets for interesting trends and outliers.
  • Bulletproof data against common pitfalls and inconsistencies.
  • Perform the most commonly used statistical techniques in journalism.


  • Learn how to use color, typography and layout.
  • Create clear and clean visualizations to help readers understand complex information.


  • Create your own website from scratch, using HTML/CSS and Javascript.
  • Know how to continue learning on your own.

The workshop will be hands-on and participants will be working through exercises and their own data projects throughout the workshop.

What Students Had to Say

Find out more about the class of 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Participating in the Data Institute was so inspiring and has given me the tools I need to become a better reporter. In two weeks, I learned concepts I’ve tried to teach myself for two years.”

– Lakeidra Chavis

Not to be cheesy or hyperbolic, but the Data Institute may be the most important training I’ve gotten so far in my career... And I got all of this at really no cost to myself or my employer. That’s incredible.”

– Marquita Brown

I learned so much during my two weeks here. I feel like I have a better idea of what could be possible, which in turn has led to a number of ideas I plan to bring back to The Courier-Journal.”

– Allison Ross

Who Should Apply?

If you’re a journalism student, journalism professor or journalist passionate about learning how to use data, design and code to help tell stories, this workshop is for you. You don’t need to have any previous experience, but we want to see that you’ve demonstrated curiosity about telling stories with data. Have you tinkered with data, design or code? You’ll be able to tell us in the application.

If you’ve ever felt intimidated by learning to code and doing math, don’t count yourself out, because we’ve all been there. Most of the teachers you’ll have at the Data Institute majored in the humanities, such as Journalism, English, History or Philosophy.

All workshop students will need to use their own laptop, which must be able to install software like R Studio. This means that Chromebooks and iPads won’t work. We’ll provide other materials, including links to where you can get the software we’ll be using for free.

You must be an Ida B. Wells Society member to apply. Membership is free and you can sign up here.

Why We’re Doing This

The Ida B. Wells Society, ProPublica and OpenNews all believe that great journalism can change the world. We want to make sure that people from many backgrounds and perspectives are equipped to do it. The Data Institute was co-founded in 2015 by two women and journalists of color, Sisi Wei and Lena Groeger, to address an equity gap and make high quality training more accessible for all journalists who want to tell powerful stories. The Data Institute equips journalists from a broad array of social, ethnic, and economic backgrounds with the technical skills to create and lead data journalism, including but not limited to people of color, women and nonbinary people, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities.

When Is It?

The Data Institute will run all day from Monday, July 18 to Friday, July 22, 2022. You will need to be able to take off from your daily work responsibilities for the entire week. We’re still finalizing the exact schedule, but expect the times to be between 11am-6pm ET. Given the nature of remote work during the pandemic, we are doing our best to maximize the time together learning live and provide ample breaks (and some fun activities and treats too!). We’re going to pack a lot of information into these workshops, so applicants must be able to dedicate the entire daily class time to the program. If this poses a financial burden that would make you unable to attend the workshop, we are providing a limited number of stipends. Requests for stipends are part of the application.

It’s Free

The Data Institute is completely free to attend.

Additionally, we are offering a limited number of need-based stipends to help those who may otherwise not be able to attend. Requests for stipends are part of the application.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will you be notifying applicants on whether they’ve been selected?

We will notify all applicants by June 10 if they’ve been selected.

I’m not a U.S. resident. Am I eligible to apply?

No. The Data Institute is only open to U.S. residents.

What do you mean by U.S. resident? Can you make any exceptions to this rule?

U.S. residents are U.S. citizens or resident aliens. We will not be making any exceptions to this rule.

Will you make the course material available online?

Yes, just like past workshops, we plan to publish a package of materials and online resources that we’ll make available for free.

I’m not a journalism student, I’m not working in journalism and I don’t plan to work as a journalist in the future. Am I eligible to apply?

No. While we understand that all of the skills we’ll be teaching can be valuable in many fields, the Data Institute’s mission is to help increase the number of journalists with data, design and programming skills. Therefore, only applicants who are studying to be journalists, working in journalism, or have demonstrated an interest in journalism will be considered.

I am a journalism professor, am I eligible to apply?


More questions?

Email [email protected]. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Code of Conduct

1. Purpose

The Ida B. Wells Society, ProPublica and OpenNews believe the Data Institute should be truly open for everyone. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe and welcoming environment for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or religion.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participant behavior as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

We expect all of our instructors and students to help us create a safe and positive workshop for everyone.

2. Expected Behavior

Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.

Refrain from demeaning, discriminatory or harassing behavior and speech.

Be mindful of your surroundings and of your fellow participants. Alert the Data Institute organizers if you notice a dangerous situation or someone in distress.

3. Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behaviors include: intimidating, harassing, abusive, discriminatory, derogatory or demeaning conduct by anyone participating in the Data Institute.

Harassment includes: offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, disability; inappropriate use of nudity and/or sexual images in public spaces (including presentation slides); deliberate intimidation, stalking or following; harassing photography or recording; sustained disruption of talks or other events; inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

4. Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated whether by instructors, students or staff.

Anyone asked to stop unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

If someone engages in unacceptable behavior, the Data Institute organizers may take any action we deem appropriate, up to and including discontinuation of any stipends and expulsion from the Institute.

5. What to Do If You Witness or Are Subject to Unacceptable Behavior

If you are subject to unacceptable behavior, notice that someone else is being subject to unacceptable behavior, or have any other concerns, please notify a Data Institute organizer as soon as possible.

The Data Institute organizers will be available to help participants contact building security or local law enforcement, to provide escorts, or to otherwise assist those experiencing unacceptable behavior to feel safe for the duration of the Institute.

Special thanks to the Portland Tech Workshops for creating their Code of Conduct and licensing it under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike.

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