On Our Desk — Feb. 17, 2017

On Our Desk is a round-up of national or North Carolina news outlets using data to tell stories in innovative ways. Here’s what inspired us this week.

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Obtaining ethics compliance files from universities

A national news article inspired me to explore how Fayetteville university officials’ financial ties may interact with local or university policy. This post shows how to begin our exploration. It’s the first of a series.

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Tutorial: Using R to Convert File Types

Carolina Data Desk recently received a request from a reporter looking to convert .dta files (data files used with STATA software) to .csv files. In this post, we’ll walk through how you can easily do this using R.

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On Our Desk — Feb. 10, 2017

On Our Desk is a round-up of national or North Carolina news outlets using data to tell stories in innovative ways. Here’s what inspired us this week.

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Obtaining Data: A Journalist’s Guide to Scraping PDFs and Converting Them to CSVs

This post is the first of a series dedicated to obtaining, cleaning, analyzing and visualizing the causes of death in North Carolina. In this post, we take a look at how to scrape the data we need and translate it into CSVs via scripting.

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Guest Post: Pat Stith’s Data Reporting (and Life) Wisdom

This semester, David Raynor, The News & Observer’s data expert in the newsroom, is working with the Carolina Data Desk and students in Ryan Thornburg’s Data Driven Reporting course. This is a version of the advice he gave students in the class on his first visit with them last week.

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Tutorial: Using R to Generate Written Summaries of Data

See how you can use R to generate written summaries of data with this tutorial using data from the 2016 North Carolina General Assembly elections.

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Tutorial: Using SQLite to analyze an education data set

In this tutorial, we’re going to do some example queries of the 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. To get started, download the CRDC_NC.csv file from our Google Drive. The full CRDC dataset for the United States takes a very long time to open, so we’re going to just start with the N.C. dataset (even isolating […]

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Evaluating Our Legislative Predictions

Now that election results are in, we take a look at the successes and failures of our predictions for the North Carolina state legislature.

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Legislative Election Forecast Methodology

Carolina Data Desk’s Shannon Paylor explains how she used publicly available data to create a predictive model for this year’s North Carolina state legislative elections.

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