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A Data Carpentry Workshop

University of Manchester

Jan 29-30, 2018

9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Instructors: Peter Smyth

Helpers: FIXME

General Information

Data Carpentry workshops are for any researcher who has data they want to analyze, and no prior computational experience is required. This hands-on workshop teaches basic concepts, skills and tools for working more effectively with data.

This is the second of two pilot workshops for the Social Sciences curriculum currently under development at the University of Manchester. In this workshop we will teach the R programming language materials. The Python language materials were covered in the first workshop. Spreadsheets, OpenRefine and SQL will be taught in both.

We will cover Data organization in spreadsheets, OpenRefine , SQL for data management ,Introduction to R pt1 and Introduction to R pt2. Participants should bring their laptops and plan to participate actively. By the end of the workshop learners should be able to more effectively manage and analyze data and be able to apply the tools and approaches directly to their ongoing research.

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers.

Where: HBS. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating sytem (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below). They are also required to abide by Data Carpentry's Code of Conduct.

Contact: Please mail for more information.

Preliminary Schedule


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey

Monday 29th

Morning Data organization in spreadsheets
Morning OpenRefine
Afternoon SQL for data management

Tuesday 30th

Morning Introduction to R pt1
Morning Introduction to R pt2

We will use this Etherpad for chatting, taking notes, and sharing URLs and bits of code.


Data organization in spreadsheets

  • Creating data tables in a spreadsheet
  • Re-formatting a spreadsheet report
  • Formatting problems
  • Dates and date formatting
  • Quality control
  • Exporting data
  • Reference...


  • Introduction to OpenRefine
  • Working with OpenRefine
  • Filtering and Sorting
  • Using regular expressions
  • Examining Numbers in OpenRefine
  • Using scripts
  • Saving results
  • Other resources in OpenRefine
  • Reference...

SQL for data management

  • What is a Relational database
  • Using DB Browser
  • The Select statement
  • Missing data
  • Creating new columns
  • Aggregations
  • Creating tables and views
  • The SQLite command line
  • Joins
  • Using database tables in other environments
  • Reference...

Introduction to R

  • R basics
  • Reading text files
  • Introducing dplyr and tidyr
  • Data visualisation with ggplot2
  • Using GIT with RStudio
  • Using a relational database with R
  • Reference...


To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need working copies of the described software. Please make sure to install everything (or at least to download the installers) before the start of your workshop. Participants should bring and use their own laptops to insure the proper setup of tools for an efficient workflow once you leave the workshop.

Please follow these Setup Instructions.

We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.