Data Carpentry Workshop for the NBIC Community

Software Sustainability Institute


13 - 14 October 2020

9:00 - 16:30

Instructors: Peter Smyth, Mario Antonioletti

Helpers: Robert Nagy, Aleksandra Nenadic

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students and other researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: This training will take place online. The instructors will provide you with the information you will need to connect to this meeting.

When: 13 - 14 October 2020. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must have a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Accessibility: We are committed to providing a positive and accessible learning environment for all. Please notify the hosts in advance of the workshop if you require any accommodations or if there is anything we can do to make this workshop more accessible to you.

Contact: Please email for more information.

Roles: To learn more about the roles at the workshop (who will be doing what), refer to our Workshop FAQ.

Code of Conduct

Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Collaborative Notes

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


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

Pre-workshop survey

Post-workshop survey


Day 1

Before starting Pre-workshop survey
9:00 - 10:30 Data Organisation in Spreadsheets
10:30 - 11:00Break
11:00 - 12:30Data Organisation in Spreadsheets (continued)
12:30 - 13:30Lunch
13:30 - 15:00Data Cleaning with OpenRefine
15:00 - 15:30Break
15:30 - 16:25Data Cleaning with OpenRefine (continued)
16:25 - 16:30Wrap-up

Day 2

09:00 - 10:30Data analysis and Visualisation in R
10:30 - 11:00Break
11:00 - 12:30Data analysis and Visualisation in R (continued)
12:30 - 13:30Lunch
13:30 - 15:00Data analysis and Visualisation in R (continued)
15:00 - 15:30Break
15:30 - 16:15Data analysis and Visualisation in R (continued)
16:15 - 16:25Wrap-up
16:25 - 16:30Post-workshop survey


Installation instructions

To participate in this workshop, you will need to install the software described at the lesson material setup pages.

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.

Zoom video conferencing client

If you haven't used Zoom before, go to the official website to download and install the Zoom client for your computer.

Set up your workspace

Like other Carpentries workshops, you will be learning by "coding along" with the instructors. To do this, you will need to have both the window for the tool you will be learning about (a spreadsheet program, a terminal, RStudio, a web browser, etc.) and the window for the Zoom video conference client open. In order to see both at once, we recommend using one of the following set up options:

This blog post includes detailed information on how to set up your screen to follow along during the workshop.