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Data Analysis for Social Scientists

A pilot of materials for a Social Sciences Data Carpentry

Harvard Business School

Dec 1-2, 2016

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Instructors: Troy Adair, Bob Freeman, Michael Levy, Ista Zahn


General Information

This workshop aims to teach researchers how to work more effectively and reproducibly with data. No prior computational experience is required for this workshop, and anyone is welcome. This hands-on workshop teaches basic concepts, skills, and tools for working more effectively with data, opening the door for reproducible and repeatable workflows.

We will cover Data organization/cleaning in spreadsheets and OpenRefine, Introduction and visualization in R (ggplot2), Data manipulation and statistical modeling in R (tidry, dplyr), and Capstone project and dynamic/sharing documents in R (knitr). Data Carpentry is developing a Data Carpentry for Social Scientists, and this workshop is a pilot of that curriculum.

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, post-docs, faculty, and other researchers.

Where: Chao Center, Room 120. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

Requirements: Participants must bring 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). 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

Day 1

Morning Data organization/cleaning in spreadsheets and OpenRefine
Afternoon Introduction and visualization in R (ggplot2)

Day 2

Morning Data manipulation and statistical modeling in R (tidry, dplyr)
Afternoon Capstone project and dynamic/sharing documents in R (knitr)

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.