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DataUSA: An Intuitive Tool for Public Data

A collaboration between Deloitte, Datawheel, and MIT has produced an intuitive aesthetically-pleasing gathering point for public data in the United States. Specific locations and industries boast easy-to-read profiles.
May 2, 2016, 7am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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DataUSA is another attempt to make hard-to-use public data easy to access and fun to browse. This time, the result looks quite promising. Tanvi Misra writes, "For any county, city, metro, and state in the U.S., this site pulls up visualizations of data on the economy, demographics, health, education, and housing. It's essentially a one-stop shop for information that is easy to search, understand, embed, and build into new code."

The site's creators approached the design with users in mind, in terms of both structure and presentation. "The creators hope that journalists, businesses, teachers, and policymakers using the site come away with insights on these topics instead of just a set of loose facts and figures. That's why they've also included a tab called 'stories' on the site’s main menu, which features some notable highlights from the datasets." 

Users interested in particular locations or demographic topics can use the search feature to bring up easy-to-understand, visually attractive profiles. Data has been assembled from a variety of sources including the American Community Survey, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, among others. 

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Published on Monday, April 4, 2016 in CityLab
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