Certificate in Data Interpretation and Communication

Certificate in Data Interpretation and Communication (15 hours)

This certificate will focus on the skills needed to find, gather, analyze and communicate data. It will help students learn strategies for finding appropriate data, organizing data, interpreting data and explaining data in meaningful ways. This certificate will not provide skills in deep statistical analysis. Rather, students will gain a better understanding of using quantitative and qualitative data to solve problems or answer questions in a variety of fields.

Information Insight I (JOUR 860)
3 credit hours

This course will introduce students to the broad concepts and theories of information, media and audiences. The goal is to ground students in the broad concepts of the master’s program and to push them to identify their direction and goals for a certificate or for a degree. Students will gain the following skills:

  • Search and locate basic data and information resources
  • Manage information with digital tools
  • Communicate ideas clearly and concisely for research proposals, capstone projects, and other graduate-level work
  • Analyze relevant case studies
  • Apply legal and ethical principles to work with data and social media
  • Students who enroll in this certificate program are encouraged to provide their own data and to base their work on analyzing that data, but we will work with students to find appropriate data sets if they don’t have any available. They will also explore additional data sets to get a broader understanding of the field.

After completing Information Insight I, students then will take these required online courses:

Data Collection I (JOUR 861)
3 credit hours

This course will help students understand secondary research methods, show students how to delve into library resources with a deep search component, and give students a framework for understanding research credibility. Students will gain these skills:

  • Learn to locate, gather and create datasets from existing data that address a problem or question
  • Learn to critically assess the credibility of data sources
  • Establish data quality standards and apply them to evaluating available databases
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate secondary data collection process to appropriate audiences

Data Collection II (JOUR 862)
3 credit hours

This course will explore primary research methods for creating and expanding databases. Students will explore such areas as tools, processes and best practices for primary data collection. Students will gain these skills:

  • Design an original dataset that addresses a pertinent problem or question
  • Collect quantitative and qualitative data using primary research methods such as surveys, web scraping, interviews and focus groups
  • Describe and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of primary data collection methods
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate the results and processes of data analysis to appropriate audiences.

Data Analysis (JOUR 863)
3 credit hours

This course will give students a framework for basic statistics to explore relationships, solve problems, and answer questions. They will also gain an understanding of how to apply descriptive and predictive statistics to interpret and communicate results of data meaningfully. Students will gain the following skills:

  • Apply basic statistical and data analysis techniques
  • Apply appropriate processes for analyzing data
  • Use Excel for basic analysis of diverse data types
  • Communicate results of data analysis to appropriate audiences
  • Learn about the many tools available for analyzing quantitative and qualitative data

Data Visualization and Presentation (JOUR 864)
3 credit hours

This course will help students use digital resources to communicate results of data analysis effectively to appropriate audiences. Students will learn to evaluate, interpret and present the results of data analysis using a variety of media. Students will gain the following skills:

  • Apply best practices to develop and communicate data projects
  • Interpret and present data visually
  • Present results in written and oral form to appropriate audiences
  • Evaluate when to use and not to use visualization
  • Design visual presentations that best represent relationships in the data to appropriate audience
  • Learn about the many tools available to visualize and present data