Digital Tools for Data-Driven Investigation


Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 4:00pm to 7:00pm


Ash Center, 124 Mt. Auburn St., Suite 200-North, Room 226

Ash Center Technology and Democracy Workshop Series

Join Ash Center Technology and Democracy Fellows to develop your digital toolkit.

Space is limited! RSVP required at EventBrite.


Data in the wild can be trickier to work with than data in the classroom. It is often hidden, dirty, incomplete, or all of the above. At FiveThirtyEight we find, clean, analyze, and write stories using data daily and often do so on a tight news deadline. This workshop will teach some of the tools of the trade that can empower HKS students to apply their quant skills in the real world. The workshop will help students become power-users of their computers and of the web.


Students who participate in this seminar will:

  1. Learn to extract hidden data from websites

  2. Use the command line to manipulate data

  3. Learn tools like regular expressions to clean data and make it usable

  4. Participate in an exercise that involves using the above tools to tell a story


This workshop is for students who want to roll up their sleeves and wrangle with some data -- bring your laptop!

Led by Dhrumil Mehta, Database Reporter, FiveThirtyEight


About the Series

The Ash Center's Technology and Democracy Workshop Series are hands-on, cocurricular events designed to help HKS students develop real-world technology skills. Led by a network of technology practitioners, participants spend 3 hours working together and with the workshop leader to learn how to apply technical skills to impact real-word scenarios.

The series is co-sponsored by Tech PIC, a technology-focused student group at Harvard Kennedy School.