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Data Skills Workshop Series

The data skills workshop series is designed to supports all levels of researchers at every stage of the research data lifecycle. Each semester, we offer workshops on introductory data skills, getting and creating data, managing data, cleaning and preparing data, data analysis, and data visualization. Below you'll find descriptions of workshops that are offered in this series.

  • Audience: undergraduate students, graduate students, researchers, faculty 
  • Available: every semester

Introduction to Data

Data Basics 

This workshop will introduce participants to the different types of data as well as the various ways they can collect, describe and visualize data before analysis. They will also be introduced to the different ways to make inferences about data when ready for analysis. This workshop is intended for those who are going to be involved with research or academic projects and want to tackle their data from the very beginning.

Access self-directed workshop materials.

Getting / Creating Data

Getting Data - All Types of data 

How many different types of data are there? I need data for my project, where do I start looking? What’s most important about the data you want to find? We’ll explore these questions together in this workshop. Strategies and resources for finding data will be introduced and developed. Some popular data sources are showcased regarding University of Guelph restricted data as well as open data available to anyone.

Access self-directed workshop materials.

Getting Data - Open Data 

In this interactive course you will discover, use and describe the benefits of open data. You will learn how you can use Open Data in your research. This workshop is for anyone that has little to some knowledge about open data. At the end of the workshop, you will be equipped with a set of best practices on how to find and access free data during and after your academic career.

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Getting Data - Archiving Twitter Data Using TAGS 

Social media channels contain a wealth of information typically pertaining to current events in real time. This information is valuable to researchers in all disciplines.   This workshop will offer participants an easy to use, yet powerful tool to capture and dig into Twitter data. TAGS is a free Google Sheet template that works with your Google and Twitter accounts to set up and run an automated collection of search results in Twitter.

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Introduction to Qualtrics - Creating Data with Online Surveys

In this session we will use Qualtrics, our online survey software, to explore the fundamentals of survey creation.

We will explore: 

  • How to create a Qualtrics account  
  • How to find and use Qualtrics tutorials and training
  • How to create a basic Qualtrics survey  
  • Methodology tips for good survey design and common errors to avoid  
  • Using surveys for research data collection
  • How to access your survey results  

Access self-directed workshop materials.

Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Advanced Survey Creation in Qualtrics - Creating Data with Online Surveys

This workshop will explore the more advanced question types and features of Qualtrics including:

  • Various question types and methods like logic, piped text, loop & merge, timed questions, scoring, embedded data and randomization
  • How to use Survey Flow to meet complicated research designs
  • How to create and edit messaging in your survey

It is expected that attendees have attended Introduction to Qualtrics - Creating Data with Online Surveys or are already competent with the software.

Access self-directed workshop materials.

Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Managing Data

Research Data Management

Every researcher begins a research project by formulating a research question and devising a methodology in which to undertake the project.

What if you began your project with a plan detailing the actual mechanics of what needs to be considered during every step of the project: from data collection during the initial stages through to data preservation when your project has been completed? What do you need to do to keep your project moving forward, on time, on track and without major incident? Join us as we review the basic steps involved in Research Data Management Planning. 

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Cleaning & Preparing Data

Open Refine

This workshop will teach you how to use the free open source tool, OpenRefine, to get that messy data in order. You will learn how to:

  • Import data 
  • Standardize data 
  • Filter, split, replace, and extract data 
  • Manipulate textual data 
  • Understand the ethics of cleaning data 

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Data Analysis

Python - Intro

Interested in using Python but don't know where to start? In this workshop, we will cover the basics of working with data in Python including reading-in data from an external source followed by some simple manipulation and analysis using the built-in capabilities that are provided by base Python language and the pandas library.

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Python - Data Manipulation

Data cleaning and manipulation usually takes up 80 per cent of the time allotted to data analysis projects. We will cover how to handle unstructured and structured data, data manipulation and cleaning tasks using Numpy and Pandas libraries.  

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Python - NLTK

The Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) is a suite of libraries used for mining and analyzing very large amounts of textual data using computational methods. This workshop will introduce beginners interested in analyzing text to NLTK, and common text analysis tasks including: 

  • Importing text, normalizing   
  • Word count and location techniques.  
  • Visualizations 

Whether you’re a literature scholar or a bioinformatics major researching your literature review, NLTK can help you.

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R and RStudio - Intro 

R is an open source software environment for data manipulation and statistical analysis. Used in a variety of disciplines, R has become a popular tool because of its power, flexibility, and active community. Join us as we teach the R language fundamentals and basic syntax, major R data structures and generate basic statistical analysis. No programming skills are required for this workshop, just an interest and/or desire to learn.

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

R - Data Manipulation in R using dplyr and tidyr  

R is a programming language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. This workshop will introduce you to the dplyr package which makes tabular data manipulations easier by using a set of functions to extract and summarize insights from your data. The tidyr package works well with tidyr to quickly convert between different data formats (long vs wide) for graphing and analysis.

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

SPSS - Intro

SPSS is a statistical software package, mainly used in the Social Sciences. It features a point and click interface which makes it easy for the user to learn. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce students to the software as well as its different functions and commands. Topics such as data entry, manipulation and description will be covered as well as the basics of statistical analysis and interpretation using SPSS. This is a great opportunity for students to learn how to analyze their own data, which is becoming an extremely valuable skill in research, academia and the workplace.

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SAS - Intro 

SAS is a statistical software package that is widely used in many disciplines. In this introductory workshop you will learn how to: 

  • Maneuver in the SAS interface
  • Import data 
  • Clean data 
  • Generate descriptive, exploratory and simple inferential statistics 

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NVivo - Intro 

NVivo is a qualitative data analysis (QDA) computer software package designed to help you manage and analyze qualitative data. In this workshop, we will work on bringing sources in, creating nodes, coding and running queries.

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Introduction to Text Analysis

Are you interested in uncovering patterns across vast amounts of textual information? Part one of this workshop will introduce distant reading techniques that address word count and location. Attendees will get hands-on experience exploring entry level tools such as Google Ngram, Voyant, and AntConc. Part two will introduce more complex concepts such as named entity recognition, sentiment analysis, and topic modelling. Participants will explore tools such as NER, and Topic Modelling Tool.

Part 1: 

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Part 2:

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Introduction to GIS using ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS is a Geographic Information System (GIS); a software program for working with maps and geographic data.  A GIS allows you to work with any data that you know a location for (eg. addresses, latitude / longitude, census locations, name of a place...). ArcGIS Online can be used in your browser on any computer and is available to the University community by requesting an account. ArcGIS Online has less mapping capability than ArcMap but is easier to use and to learn. Please note that ArcGIS Online is not recommended if you want to save or download your finished map for publication as it is intended for creating online maps. We’ll learn some GIS fundamentals and how to get started using ArcGIS Online.

In this workshop we will learn how to navigate ArcGIS Online, kinds of GIS data, how to add data to a map, basic symbology and labelling, how to manually add data to your map, and how to access analysis functions.

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Introduction to GIS using ArcMap

ArcGIS is a Geographic Information System (GIS); a software program for working with maps and geographic data. ArcMap is the desktop mapping software of ArcGIS. A GIS allows you to work with any data that you know a location for (eg. addresses, latitude / longitude, census locations, name of a place...). ArcMap is available for download to the University community. Although similar in some ways to online mapping sites, ArcGIS has greater analytical capabilities and allows you more input and control over your map.

In this workshop we will learn how to navigate ArcMap, kinds of GIS data, how to add data to a map, basic symbology and labelling, how to filter data, and how to create a finished map. 

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Data Visualization

Excel - Charts and and Pivot Tables 

Excel is a popular tool that provides many powerful features that can assist you in managing your data and help to better understand small and large data sets. While not as robust as other data visualization tools, it can be used for visualizing your data through its charting features.  Come learn how to create charts using Pivot tables.

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Register for the live-version of this workshop.

Tableau - Intro 

A picture is worth a thousand words! Especially when you don’t have to read the thousand words it would take to explain the patterns and trends in your data. There are many reasons why information is easier to explain, explore, and convince in a visual format. This session will provide you with some basic skills to make your data come to life using Tableau.

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Tableau - Intermediate 

A picture is worth a thousand words! Especially when you don’t have to read the thousand words it would take to explain the patterns and trends in your data. There are many reasons why information is easier to explain, explore, and convince in a visual format. This session will provide you with some introductory theory, and basic skills to make your data come to life using Tableau.