SMU Library and the Department of ICT recently embarked on a three day workshop, held at E-Learning centre for academic, support staff and postgraduate students. The workshop entailed educating the SMU community on data to enhance analysis and sharing, OpenRefine for data cleaning and augmenting, data analysis and visualisation. “The tools will make the students more employable and equip them with the skills like Software competency, Data competency, publication competency and library competence,” said Ms Anelda van de Walt, the coordinator from Data Carpentry Company.

During the opening event of the workshop, Prof A Ayo-Yusuf the DVC Research, Postgraduate Studies & Innovation said that The South African Data Achieves on the NRF Website has data available that everyone can use. “There is a lot of data that is open and the skills that you will get today will assist you with data analysis in the coming future”, he said.

The workshop did not require any programming skills and was novice friendly. What the students had to bring was their own laptops and get started. If they got confused, there were four other members of the Data Campetry to go through the programs with the students.

“This workshop is a sequel to Carpentry Connect Workshop held earlier in 2018, which was sponsored by the DST. The office of the DVC Research, Postgraduate Studies & Innovation nominated participants from ICT and the Library to participate. The team learnt a lot from the workshop and made it their goal to pass on these skills, without any delay, to the rest of SMU especially postgraduate students working with research data”, said Ms S.N. Kibirige, Director of Library & Information Services.

“The programmes the students used during the entire workshop was excel, Open refine, R-R Studio and Etherpad. These are the best tools to use as scientists for your work, and when you want to publish. And having technological advances will be beneficial to everyone involved”, said Ms Mamsi Khantsi, a PhD Candidate in Microbilogy, a member of the Data Campentry.

For more information on the data carpentry visit: https://tenet-rccpii.github.io/2018-10-31-SMU