Using data, journalists have more ways to tell their stories, analyze trends and effects and find connections between seemingly unrelated events or people.
Journalists are invited to tap into health data in a special workshop coming this fall. This AHCJ workshop, in Anaheim, Calif., offers something for data newcomers and veterans – from spreadsheet basics to visualizing data online. You’ll come away with skills and ideas on teasing stories out of datasets and tools on presenting these stories.
The first day will feature hands-on classes focused on spreadsheet basics for the novices. The second day will feature more advanced training. See the program.
Now health journalists have another place to turn to find data to use in their reporting. The Health Data All Stars is a directory of 50 resources for health data at the federal, state and local levels.
Tags on sources help identify what level the data is – city, county, state or federal – as well as topics that each one covers, such as cost of care, social determinants, health outcomes, disease prevalence, etc. Other tags let you quickly see what format the data is available as – CSV, Excel, maps and interactive tools.
You’ll find statistics on global health, data visualizations of how education and income impact health, Medicare claims and much more. Created by Forum One Communications, with support from the California HealthCare Foundation, the site is housed on the Health Data Consortium website.
Of course, remember that AHCJ offers a number of data sets, including hospitalinspection.org, data on the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes, financial data from nonprofit hospitals’ IRS 990 forms, hospital mortality and readmission data. The organization also has tip sheets on how to use the data and an upcoming workshop will help journalists hone their data skills.