Public administration and policy: Data resources & tools
Tools for data analysis
- PolicyMapPolicy Map offers both extensive data and mapping options about communities across the US, especially for topics of interest for public policy. Data are aggregated from multiple sources and normalized to map across different geographical levels, from census tracts and ZIP codes to states. Data reports may be downloaded without maps. Policy Map also permits users to upload and map their own data. Focus is on information compiled since the early 2000s.
For data more oriented toward business and commercial activities, try SimplyAnalytics; for deeper historical coverage (necessarily with fewer variables), along with some non-US data/mapping options, try Social Explorer.
- SimplyAnalyticsSimplyAnalytics (formerly SimplyMap) is a web-based mapping application for non-technical as well as advanced users to create thematic maps and reports using a variety of US and Canadian data about characteristics of consumers, businesses, and markets. Sign is as Guest or with a personalized account. Data are aggregated from multiple sources and normalized to map across different geographical levels, from census blocks and ZIP codes up to states. Data reports may be downloaded without maps. Focus is on information compiled since the early 2000s.
For data more oriented to public policy questions, try PolicyMap; for deeper historical coverage (necessarily with fewer variables), along with some non-US data and mapping options, try Social Explorer.
- Social ExplorerSocial Explorer focuses on representing patterns in historical demographics of the United States since the first census in 1790. International coverage has less historical depth but includes recent census data from Canada and the UK, EuroStat's European Statistics, and the World Bank's World Development Indicators. The easy-to-use web interface lets users create maps and tables to illustrate, analyze, and understand demography and social change. In addition to its comprehensive data resources, Social Explorer offers features and tools to meet the needs of demography experts and novices alike.
Complements the broader but recent US coverage in PolicyMap for social policy and the US and Canadian coverage in SimplyAnalytics for business.
- StatsAmericaA very rich, free portal to US data, StatsAmerica includes tools to discover, interpret, map, and apply US economic and demographic data at many geographical levels. Design is oriented to needs of policy makers, social and economic researchers, and nonprofits. Data are downloadable. Includes guides and recorded training webinars. From Indiana Business Research Center at Indiana University and funded in part by the US Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration..
- SuAVE: Survey Analysis via Visual ExplorationOnline tool for exploratory survey data analysis adn visualization. Project aims to make survey data easy to share online to explore collaboratively, and produces analyses that are accessible and understandable by non-experts. Begin analysis by creating/logging into a personal account. Tutorials include videos about conducting analyses and text instructions for formatting and publishing datasets in SuAVE.
- Tableau PublicPopular, free application for data visualization. Requires download and installation on your own computer. With a free personal profile, you can save, store, and share visualizations via social media.
- Data Consulting Lab (DCL)VT Libraries provide a limited number of computers loaded with specialized analytical applications that are not available through the internet (and may be expensive for individual purchase) -- along with consultants to help you gather, analyze, represent, and curate your data.
The DCL (Newman Library 3010, near the main elevators) provides STATA, R Studio, ARGGIS, ERDAS, among others.
Open hours depend on staffing and can vary by semester; to schedule a consultation or reserve time on a workstation email
or stop by. Some remote access can be reserved as times when the PCs are not in use.