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Communicating with Data

Communicating with Data

London College of Communication
Taught by
Jonathan Stoneman


Our Communicating with Data short course is a practical and informative way to introduce you to the tools and techniques you need in order to interrogate rows and columns of data, and turn your insights into compelling stories.

Datasets related to many issues, including health, culture, demographics and public spending are now available for anyone to download from the web. On this course you will learn how to find patterns and extract information from data held in spreadsheets. You will learn where to find the data you need for your purposes, and how to begin interrogating and analysing it by finding facts and patterns – often hidden in plain sight.

Topics covered

  • Rows and columns: how to decide what a dataset is likely to tell you from an outline of columns available
  • Introduction to interrogating a dataset: using a spreadsheet to ask questions, including sorting and filtering data and summarising it using a pivot table and other built-in tools
  • Sources of data: structure web portals, official bodies and speculative searches
  • Simple visualisations and presentation
  • Communicating with data and pitching data stories

Course outcomes

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  • Find published open data and other sources online
  • Interrogate, or "interview" data using spreadsheets
  • Clean data in preparation for analysis
  • Make sense of data in text and visually using simple visuals

Who should attend

This course is suitable for anyone whose work or organisation produces or uses data and who needs a hands-on introduction to this rapidly growing field.


Beginner. You don't need any previous experience.

Follow up courses

After you have completed this course you may be interested in Digital Journalism or Infographic Storytelling.

Tutor Description

Jonathan Stoneman has specialised in training others how to use data since 2010. Before that he worked in various roles at the BBC for 20 years, including Head of Training at BBC World Service. Over the years he has trained a wide range of people, including journalists, civil servants, charity workers and fundraisers. He aims to make his courses practical and as hands-on as possible, and loves nothing more than seeing total beginners see how easy it can be to find insights in data.

Available dates