Digging into the raw College Scorecard data

College scorecard homepageSooner or later, every data journalist has to crack open a big comma-separated value file to get at some raw data. This tutorial will show you how.

Using a database of college and university information from the U.S. Department of Education’s newly released College Scorecard website as an example, the tutorial explains what comma-separated value format is, how to understand a comma-separated value file by examining its documentation, and how to use Excel’s search and filter capabilities to extract the data you’re looking for.

You’ll also get a look at some of the interesting, localizable news stories to be found in the College scorecard data. Watch the approximately 13-minute Intro to codebooks using College Scorecard data YouTube video, and you’ll be all set to fire up Excel and see what you can find.