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Largest Data Journalism Conference in Latin America Coda.Br Starts Nov 8

By Blog, Events

The largest data journalism conference in Latin America reaches its sixth edition in a row bringing discussions on the climate crisis, access to information, and data protection, in addition to dozens of workshops with experts.

What is the role of data journalism in preventing and mitigating climate collapse? How can the right of access to public information be reconciled with data protection regulations? These and other issues will be discussed in the sixth edition of the Data Journalism and Digital Methods Conference (Coda.Br), from November 8th to 13th, 2021.

Editor’s note: There are four R-related workshops @ Coda.Br 2021 (Data and health: Sivep without secrets, Tools to mitigate AI biases, Creating a reproducible project in R, and Graphs everywhere: how to create and analyze graphs). Please see below for details.

The conference was created by Escola de Dados (School of Data Brazil), the Open Knowledge Brasil’s data literacy program, Coda.Br is the leading data journalism event in Latin America and will be entirely online for the second year in a row, with free and paid activities.

Three main debate panels, three keynote presentations with international guests, and the final of the Cláudio Weber Abramo Data Journalism Award will be broadcasted openly and free of charge on the event’s website. Paid activities include more than 30 hours of hands-on workshops with experts in the field. The audience can join the workshops with a simple registration (from R$40) or via the Escola de Dados membership program.

Two hundred ninety-five free subscriptions will also be offered to increase the attendance of underrepresented groups. The public call is open until November 1st.

The sixth edition of the Digital Data and Methods Journalism Conference is developed with Google News Initiative and has the support of the US Embassy and Consulates in Brazil; the Hivos Foundation; the Brazilian Institute of Teaching, Development, and Research (IDP); the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism; the Brazilian Institute for Research and Data Analysis (IBPAD); from Insper; R Consortium and Datopian.

LAI and LGPD, book launch and climate crisis

Focusing on the complementary relationship between transparency and privacy, the first panel will discuss how public institutions deal with the Law on Access to Information (LAI) after the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) came into force in Brazil. Fernanda Campagnucci, CEO of Open Knowledge Brasil, will moderate the discussion of the following speakers Maria Vitória Ramos (Fiquem Sabendo), Jamila Venturini (Derechos Digitales), Paulo Rená (Instituto Beta).

The panel “Data Journalism in the World” marks the launch of the Portuguese version of “The Data Journalism Handbook: Towards a Critical Data Practice” with Natália Mazotte (Insper), one of the founders of the School of Data in Brazil, in addition to the participation of Cédric Lombion (Open Knowledge Foundation), Liliana Bounegru and Jonathan Gray (King’s College London).

And while the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) brings together global leaders, Coda.Br will debate the coverage of the climate emergency by journalism, pointing out problems and possible solutions in this area in the panel “Climate crisis in data journalism”. The activity will be moderated by Gustavo Faleiros (InfoAmazonia) and will feature Letícia Cotrim da Cunha (UERJ), Francy Baniwa (National Museum), and Clayton Aldern (Grist).

This year’s keynote presentations include Gurman Bhatia, an independent data visualization designer; Sondre Solstad, data journalism editor at The Economist; and Jim Albrecht, director of product management at Google. The Cláudio Weber Abramo Award for Data Journalism ceremony ends the Conference, with presentations by the finalists and the announcement of the winning projects of this edition of the award.


6th Coda.Br – Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods

Date: November 8th to 13th

Value: R$40 (access to all event activities) or R$180 (one-year subscription to Escola de Dados, which allows access to the event and other benefits).

Registration and more information about the schedule:

Registration for scholarships:



School of Data is a global network aiming to empower citizens to contribute to the strengthening of democracies. Escola de Dados is the local chapter of this network and part of Open Knowledge Brasil (OKBR). The program trains researchers, NGOs and journalists, teaching them how to use open data to promote well-informed debates and create effective narratives for their agendas. 


Created in 2013, Open Knowledge Brasil (OKBr) is the local chapter of Open Knowledge Foundation. It is a non-profit Civil Society Organization (CSO) that uses and develops civic tools, projects, public policy analysis, and data journalism training to promote open knowledge in various fields of society. 

R-related workshops @ Coda.Br 2021

Data and health: Sivep without secrets

By Carolina Moreno and Raphael Saldanha

Come learn how to analyze the most useful database to cover Covid-19 in Brazil: the Sivep-Gripe. It is using it that authorities, experts and journalists follow the trends of hospitalizations and deaths. This anonymized base is public and is available to anyone who knows how to handle large datasets. However, knowing the code to manipulate the data is not enough. In this workshop, you will have access to specific knowledge about the correct filters to be made, in addition to the dynamics of information systems and epidemiological issues that must be taken into account in the coverage.

Carolina Moreno is a senior data journalist for TV Globo. She has been a journalist since 2006, specializing in journalism editing since 2009, and has produced data-driven reporting since 2017. She covers Covid-19 pandemic data from its beginning for local and national news programs. Winner of the 2014 and 2015 Andifes Award, second place in the 2019 Impa Award. Participant in R-Ladies São Paulo since 2019.

Raphael Saldanha is a health data scientist, with PhD in Health Information and Communication from Fiocruz, one of the most prestigious health institutions in Brazil. He works on quantitative health research and the production of data visualization dashboards. He has been working with COVID-19 data since the beginning of the pandemic, building Fiocruz MonitoraCovid-19’s COVID-19 monitoring panel. He has been teaching R courses since 2010.

Tools to mitigate AI biases

By Gabriela de Queiroz e Paolla Magalhães

In this workshop, you will learn how to measure and mitigate bias in your data and models using the AI Fairness 360 open-source toolkit. You will learn which metric is most appropriate for a given case and when to use many of the different bias mitigation algorithms. The workshop will mention the R package.

Gabriela de Queiroz is a Chief Data Scientist at IBM California leading AI Strategy and Innovations. She drives the AI adoption across existing and potential customers, lead outreach strategy across our open source ecosystem and data science community. Previously she was a Program Director working on Open Source, Data & AI Technologies at IBM.

Creating a reproducible project in R

By João Santos

In corporate and scientific works we are increasingly faced with scenarios where we try to reproduce the code written by someone else and we find inconsistencies and errors. The solution to these problems lies in a series of practices and conventions that ensure that your code runs consistently. In this workshop, you will learn how to develop a reproducible project in R. We will make use of libraries and directory organization best practices, making our results permanently consistent.

João is currently a Jr. Data Engineer at Account Split. He serves as a research assistant in the Department of Political Science at Emory University, where he researches political disinformation. He is a major in International Relations at PUC-Rio, and holds the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification.

Graphs everywhere: how to create and analyze graphs

By Janderson Pereira

The purpose of this workshop is to present the concepts of graphs and relational data used to identify groups and their subjectivities. The idea is to show how to extract data from social networks, especially Twitter or Youtube, and then treat them to visualize interactions in order to be able to find groups that emerge when individual behaviours are aggregated. The R language and the Gephi program will be used to create the graphs.

Janderson is a data scientist and coordinator of innovation and forecasting at Natura & Co. He is a researcher at Citelab/UFF – Research Laboratory in Science, Innovation, Technology and Education and has a major in Media Studies at the Fluminense Federal University. He develops research in the area of social network analysis, focusing on methodologies for disseminating disinformation on social networking sites.

A Latin American R community for HR

By Blog

By Sergio Garcia Mora

R4HR, formerly known as the Club de R para RRHH, is a Latin American based community whose mission is to spread the adoption of R in Human Relations (HR), trying to make it as simple and engaging as possible, and most importantly, in Spanish, our own language.

R4HR is holding their first R Consortium meetup on September 4th!

This post is contributed by Sergio Garcia Mora. Sergio is an “HR NeRd” with a bachelor in Labour Relations UBA with a postgraduate course on Data Science applied to Social Sciences UNSAM. Sergio is the founder of R4HR and Data 4HR, and works as a SME of People Analytics at Data IQ. He is a People Analytics teacher at ITBA and is soon to become a Data Carpentry Certified Instructor.

From Sergio: “A fact about me: Data shows that I have a lot in common with Keanu Reeves.”

My relationship with R hasn’t been linear. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why I chose to study Labor Relations is that it’s a numbers-free career as a career that has not many subjects related to maths, algebra and those kind of subjects (I like to joke that Labor Relations is like Human Resources but more hippie). Life is funny because nowadays I’m known in the People Analytics field in Argentina.

My first contact with R was in 2016 when I joined the Data Mining Master Course of the University of Buenos Aires, where R was the go-to language for most of my peers. As someone that didn’t have a background in coding or in computer science I struggled a lot trying to keep pace with my peers. Then I started to develop an entrepreneurial project and decided to delegate all the coding and technical job to my partner and I will focus more on the functional aspects of the job. So for a couple of years I didn’t write any line of code at all.

Late in 2019 I joined a BI company in Buenos Aires, called Data IQ, with such a stimulating environment, with great people, excellent professionals and a challenging environment. So, after a couple of months I started to think what can I give that was different and fresh for my team, apart from my knowledge in HR and People Analytics. So like the natural career path for BI developers is to grow towards Data Science, I thought it would be a good idea to try to learn R and bring that knowledge to the table. And it ended up not only being a good idea, but a great one.

I chose to learn R first because the code syntax is more straightforward to understand for me. And also the R community is simply awesome, specially the Latin American chapters from Argentina to Mexico, they all are very supportive and inclusive, and they all create safe and welcoming environments.

So there I was again, my R script and me face to face. Even though I can speak English and I’m comfortable with reading in this language, not everyone in Latin America is this lucky. And the other barrier I had to struggle with was the technical jargon. There a a lot of free resources but most of them are aimed at highly technical people, or to an academic audience. And the third problem I had was finding HR data. So my problems were dealing with a language that wasn’t my own, with a jargon that I don’t understand, and with data that doesn’t make sense to me.

So in May 2020 the Club de R para RRHH was born. I always remember Richard Feyman’s quote “The best way to learn something is to teach it” so that was one of my drivers.

R4HR is a project that was born in the pandemics, and thanks to it, I still can’t believe the reach we have. In our community you can find people from Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Panama, USA, Spain and even France and with so many different backgrounds, HR, Psychology, Economics, Statistics, and many more.

During most of 2020 we ran our sessions on a weekly basis. And we used to charge a fee to be part of it.First because I used to think that people wouldn’’t value free stuff, and secondly, once a month we used to invite a R expert to teach us something, so we payed them for their time.

We were fortunate enough to have people like Pablo Tiscornia, Pablo Casas, Ana Laura Diedrichs, Hernán Escudero, Angie Scetta, and Paola Corrales sharing content about survey analysis, exploratory data analysis, git, Shiny, geospatial analysis, and publishing your analysis from RMarkdown to blogdown. So, our Google Drive is being filled with such priceless content.

And the community started to develop in such an organic and genuine way that still amazes me, so then it was when we decided to open all our content, and embrace the same values of the R community: openness, solidarity, safety, and high end content in an inclusive environment. And late in 2020 all of our content and our meetups are free.

So, we have content in our own language, with a jargon adapted to our backgrounds and practices, but we still lack data. So, inspired on an open salary survey developed a tech-community, SysArmy, we launched in October our first HR Salary KIWI Survey for Latam (KIWI stands for Key Investigation of Wages and Incomes after joking about ridiculous perks sometimes we see in job postings), and we have run the analysis on our own that everyone can see online and the data is available who anyone that wants to use it.

Nowadays we try to gather on a monthly basis, more people have embarked in the organizing team, and it’s so great to see the impact it has in some people, from welcome anyone and become part of the group, people finding new and better jobs, and making friends in places where nobody would have ever expected.

It’s been one of the most amazing journeys  I’ve been to. And now being part of the R Consortium is such a satisfying milestone for our young community.

Major Success! Highlights from the Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods (

By Blog

On November 2 – 7, 2020, the 5th edition of the Brazilian Conference on Data Journalism and Digital Methods (CODA.Br) took place with 50 national and international guest speakers and 16 workshops. CODA.Br is the largest data journalism conference in Latin America and this year was completely virtual.

Open access to all debates, keynotes, lightning talks and presentations of the second edition of the Cláudio Weber Abramo Data Journalism Award is available on the website (in Portuguese):

Organized by Open Knowledge Brasil and Escola de Dados (School of Data Brazil), CODA.Br is backed by the support of multiple large scale associations including the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji), R Consortium, Hivos Institute, Embassy of the Netherlands and the United States Consulate. 

With more than 500 attendees, CODA.Br held cutting edge panel discussions covering topics such as avoiding bias in AI with open source tools, Health in journalism and Covid-19, and challenges in the Amazon. Workshops were also held covering a broad range of contemporary subjects like evaluating election data with R and analysis of socioeconomic data in QGIS were held totalling over 24 hours of programming.

Coda.Br made itself even more accessible to the public by offering 150 free passes to build a more diverse, impactful audience. The event attracted participants from 25 states and the federal district in all Brazlian regions. With an average of 73 attendees per workshop, more than half of participants surveyed considered the workshops to be “excellent”.

 We can’t wait to see what next year brings for CODA.Br!

Community of Bioinformatics Software Developers (CDSB): The story of a diversity and outreach hotspot in Mexico that hopes to empower local R developers

By Blog

By Leonardo Collado Torres, Ph. D., Research Scientist, Lieber Institute for Brain Development, Brain genomics #rstats coder working w/ @andrewejaffe @LieberInstitute. @lcgunam @jhubiostat @jtleek alumni. @LIBDrstats @CDSBMexico co-founder

I have been attending R conferences since 2008, and while I’ve seen the R community grow rapidly, I generally don’t encounter as many Latin Americans (LatAm) among communities of R developers. Traditionally, a lab lead investigator invested in R or Bioconductor would teach their trainees and students these skills, becoming a local R hotspot. However, that scenario is uncommon in Mexico for several reasons. Recognizing some of these challenges and driven to promote R in our home country and LatAm, in 2017 Alejandro Reyes and I teamed up with Alejandra Medina Rivera and Heladia Salgado to eventually launch the Community of Bioinformatics Software Developers CDSB (in Spanish) in 2018. One of our goals is to facilitate and encourage the transition from R user to R/Bioconductor developer. We have organized yearly one-week long workshops together with NNB-UNAM and RMB and just announced our 2020 workshop (August 3-7 2020 Cuernavaca, Mexico). 

Now unto our third workshop, I feel like we’ve had several success stories.

We have greatly benefited from the logistics and organization support by NNB-UNAM and RMB local teams, allowing us to focus on designing the workshop curriculum and inviting a diverse set of instructors, including Maria Teresa Ortiz who is an RLadiesCDMX co-founder and has been supporting us from the beginning. However, we face economic challenges as the budget for the national science foundation (CONACyT) has decreased in recent years. The support by the small R conference fund by R Consortium and other sponsors has been instrumental, as well as diversity and travel scholarships some of our instructors have secured at R conferences. We just recently revamped our sponsor page and answered the question: why should you support us?

However, while we are just getting started, one of our highlights was born by rOpenSci’s icebreaker exercise at CDSB2019. We were able to really build a sense of community and desire to perform outreach activities at our local communities. Particularly, a CDSB2018 and 19 alumni, Joselyn Chávez, volunteered to join the CDSB board. At CDSB2019 we also created an #rladies channel in our Slack where at the time we had members of 3/4 Mexico’s RLadies chapters (Qro, Xalapa, CDMX) and now have 5/6 (Cuerna, Monterrey), as CDSB2018 and CDSB2019 alumni have been co-founders of two chapters: Ana Beatriz Villaseñor-Altamirano for Qro and Joselyn Chávez for Cuerna.

I am proud and excited of what we have achieved with our one-week long CDSB workshops, but also with how we used the tools we’ve learnt from other communities in order to keep interacting and communicating throughout the rest of the year. Time will tell if our efforts created a ripple that grew into a wave or if we’ll end burning out. Sustainability is a challenge, but we are greatly motivated by the impact we’ve had and can only imagine a brighter future.

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