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A Data Carpentry Workshop

University of Wisconsin, Madison

August 23-24, 2016

8:30am - 4pm

Instructors: Trisha Adamus, Karl Broman, Christina Koch

Helpers: Cameron Cook, Steve Goldstein, Andy Pohl

Registration is required and will be available just below, starting at 5:00pm on Tuesday, July 26. Make sure to read all details below before registering and to choose appropriately between UW-Madison's Data Carpentry and Software Carpentry workshops.

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. We will cover Data organization in spreadsheets and OpenRefine, SQL for data management, Introduction to R and Data analysis and visualization in R. 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.

For researchers who have already been programming and seek to expand their capabilities, our UW-Madison Software Carpentry workshop (August 29-30) will likely be more appropriate. These two workshops are NOT intended to be taken back-to-back, and you can learn about future workshops at UW-Madison by joining the mailing list of UW-Madison's Advanced Computing Initiative.

Who: The course is aimed at UW-Madison-affiliated graduate students and other researchers. The curriculum and examples are somewhat specific to Biology/Ecology data, but still teach generalizable practices.

Where: Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 3rd Floor Teaching Lab, 330 North Orchard St., Madison, WI 53715. 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). An individual should only register if he/she is able to attend ALL days of the workshop. While coffee and tea will be provided, participants should eat a full breakfast and plan to bring or buy their own lunch nearby. Attendees are also required to abide by Data Carpentry's Code of Conduct.
Registration is required, and will be available just above General Information, starting at 5:00pm on Tuesday, August 2.

Contact: Please mail for more information.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organisers have checked that:

  • The room is wheelchair / scooter accessible.
  • Accessible restrooms are available.
  • Lactation facilities are available.

Materials will be provided in advance of the workshop and large-print handouts are available if needed by notifying the organizers in advance. If we can help making learning easier for you please get in touch and we will attempt to provide them.

Preliminary Schedule


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

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey

Day 1

8:30 - 9:00 Installation Help
9:00 - 9:10 Introduction
9:10 - 10:30 Data Organization in Spreadsheets
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee
10:45 - 12:00 Data Cleaning with OpenRefine
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Break
1:00 - 2:15 Data Management with SQL
2:15 - 2:30 Coffee
2:30 - 4:00 Data Management with SQL

Day 2

8:30 - 9:00 Installation Help
9:00 - 9:15 Day 2 intro
9:15 - 9:45 Intro to R [Script from the day]
9:45 - 10:30 Data manipulation with dplyr
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee
10:45 - 12:00 Data visualization with ggplot2
12:00 - 1:00 Lunch Break
1:00 - 2:00 More ggplot2
2:00 - 2:30 Reproducible reports with R Markdown
2:30 - 2:45 Coffee
2:45 - 4:00 Capstone project [Solution: Rmd | html]

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


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.