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Step-by-step guide starting your data journalism career

Become a data journalist in seven easy, but not quick, steps: From improving your writing to identifying computer languages to learn, to building a network, this guide walks you through what you need to know and do to add “data journalist” to your resume.

No one is born a data journalist. These are skills you have to learn and practice. And while there is no set path to becoming a data journalist, the skills you need include the ability to write, numeracy, and technical acumen. Excel is an important starting point, but other tools allow you to extend your knowledge much further. Python and R will enhance your data gathering, analysis and visualization abilities. SQL is an important tool for data storage and analysis. Web development, including HTML, CSS, Javascript, will allow you to bring data to life in interactive visuals. But perhaps the most important lessons to learn are how to connect with others in the field and keeping up with the rapid pace of change in the industry.