As a reference librarian I am frequently asked about different types of statistics. Most of the statistics that patrons want are freely provided by government or nonprofit agencies and can therefore be found on the web. The data is usually in the form of a simple table or a data file that one can download and analyzed. However, simple tables may not adequately communicate the richness of the data and sophisticated analysis takes time and skill that many of us do not have. That is, until now. Google has a web-based tool for analyzing frequently used public data sets called Google public data explorer. There are currently 13 data sets available for exploration in demographics, health, and the economy. Now anyone can create an interactive data visualization like the one posted below.
Post originally written by Will Breitbach, former Head of Instruction & Information Services.