Equipping journalism professionals with essential data literacy & analysis skills
About the programme
Our Data-Driven Journalism programme equips journalism professionals with essential, practical data literacy and analysis skills in a structured instructor-led programme. Delivered in partnership with Cardiff University School of Journalism, the programme will benefit anyone who wants to use data tools and techniques to create more impactful stories and be more productive day-to-day.
For journalists employed in England, the programme can be funded using the Apprenticeship Levy and offers a government-recognised qualification in data, as part of the world's first Data-Driven Journalism Apprenticeship.
Our unique flexible online learning, our monthly ‘Industry Expert Insights' speaker series and our inspiring, specialist professional trainers are here to empower you to develop a strong understanding of the value and opportunities enabled through the smart use of data in your role and your news organisation. For the apprenticeship, you'll spend 20% of your working hours learning and applying new skills & knowledge.
Hear from Jim Taylor at the BBC about how this programme helped him become a data-driven journalist.
Don't work in journalism?
Discover our broader Data Citizen programme focusing on essential data skills for professionals across different industries.
Interested in joining our next programme?
Enrolment deadline: 14th April 2023
- Create stories and journalism underpinned by data-driven insights.
- Work confidently with qualitative and quantitative data.
- Leverage widely used tools such as Excel and Power BI to analyse, visualise and interpret data.
- Understand how to find, work with, derive insights and communicate using Data.
Build your data driven journalism capability
Cambridge Spark's Data Driven Journalism programme will equip journalists with the skills and knowledge they need to create visual and insightful data-led news content for all forms of media, including TV, Radio and online. Journalists who understand the value and opportunities of data to news organisations of all sizes will learn digital analysis techniques and create impactful news stories from data insights. By combining traditional news-gathering with the ability to prepare, format and integrate news data, journalists will build narrative around the data, validate the data and ensure data quality and consistency to the highest levels expected of data journalism. Journalists will also learn how to source, store and manage news data securely, compliantly and ethically.
Becoming a data driven BBC journalist
Discover how Jim Taylor has progressed in his career at the BBC since incorporating the essential data skills he learned through the Data-Driven Journalism programme into his daily work.
Who the Data-Driven Journalism programme is for:
- Qualified and experienced Journalists, Senior Journalists, Correspondents, News Researchers who are users of data and statistics that contribute to news production but who do not yet have the skills or experience to effectively and efficiently source, collate, analyse, visualise and communicate using data.
- Journalists with some basic spreadsheet knowledge who desire an opportunity to create more value from the data they work with.
No strong experience with data?
Our Data Driven Journalism programme is the perfect starting point to learn data skills and build a career in data driven journalism.
"Technology will help journalists to tell stories more rationally and objectively, so that’s why I have a real interest to be part of this programme."
Burak Abatay, Journalist, BBC News
The Experiential Learning Process
We apply an approach of blended experiential learning, through a mixture of interactive, instructor-led workshops and hands-on practice, with personalised feedback and recommendations, creating the optimum balance between theoretical and practical learning (70% hands-on /30% theoretical). This enables learners to achieve a much steeper learning curve and ability to apply their skills and knowledge in practice, guaranteeing ROI.
Practice on EDUKATE.AI®
"This is hopefully a springboard for the rest of my career and will allow me to tell more stories with data that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise."
Kris Bramwell, Journalist, BBC News
This world-first, cutting-edge curriculum was developed for journalists by Cambridge Spark and Cardiff University, working with the BBC, to bridge the data skills gap within Journalism. The content is developed and maintained by Cambridge Spark and the Cardiff University School of Journalism and delivered by our faculty of expert teachers, coaches and mentors.
Our core curriculum provides journalists with everything they need to succeed in a data driven journalism role.
You will be taught by our faculty of teaching fellows including Data Journalism and Analytics professionals working in industry, who also develop the e-learning you will undertake, ensuring you learn the most cutting edge techniques and how they can be applied in the real-world.
Data Mentors and Personal Coaches
While developing your portfolio of work-based projects, you will be supported by an expert data mentor who can help you identify and scope projects to apply your new skills. A Personal Coach will support you on your personal and career development during the programme.
The Value of Data - Understand the value of data and the way digital technologies are fundamentally changing the global economy
The Digital Transformation and Impact of Data on News & Journalism - Why Care? Why data matters to journalists
Basic Numbers with Excel - Basic summary statistics needed to analyse data
Data Sourcing & Integration in Excel - Get data from different sources
Data Preparation, Quality & Validation - Prepare and clean data ready for analysis
Excel for Data Analysis - Conduct data analysis for actionable insights
Charts and Data Visualisation - Create insightful, data-driven graphs & charts
Dashboarding Tools - Learn how to use industry standard tools
Producing Data Journalism - Create insightful data-driven stories and narrative
Reporting and Actioning Insights - Action data-driven insights and solve problems
Working with Data & News Securely - Store data securely and compliantly from trusted sources within News and Journalism
Introduction to Coding - Get familiar with key coding concepts with Python
- Future of Learning and Careers in Data - Effective learning, new roles, new opportunities
Data-Driven Journalism is primarily delivered as an apprenticeship, funded by the Level 3 Data Technician apprenticeship standard.
We can also tailor delivery to meet your needs, for instance for learners outside of England.
Apprenticeships are a long-term training commitment which seek to support people into the workforce and upskill existing UK-based employees within an organisation, enabling employers to foster a workforce consisting of highly-skilled and highly-engaged talent.
The Level 3 Data-Driven Journalism Apprenticeship is delivered over 15 months plus 3 months End Point Assessment and includes a minimum of 20% off-the-job training, enabling a blended approach between theory and practical-learning.
The UK government’s Apprenticeship Levy scheme came into effect in April 2017 as a way to drive investment in strengthening the country’s skills base.
All organisations with annual staff costs of over £3m have to pay 0.5% of their salary bill into a ring-fenced apprenticeship levy pot. The money is collected monthly via PAYE and must be spent within 24 months and used for training on approved apprenticeship schemes (such as the Level 3 Data-Driven Journalism Apprenticeship that we offer).
Off-the-job training is defined as learning which is undertaken outside of the day-to-day work duties and it must take place within the apprentice’s normal working hours.
Our off-the-job training is delivered on a flexible basis and can be carried out at the apprentice’s place of work or from home.
The 20% off-the-job training provides learners with the time to focus and develop the required skills, knowledge and behaviours to achieve the apprenticeship.
Managers will need to ensure apprentices achieve the 20% off-the-job training hours and work on their project portfolio.
We also encourage managers to have regular one-to-one meetings with apprentices to catch up on how they are progressing and to join the apprentice and their coach for thirty minutes every 3-4 months for a general catch up about the programme.