The Global Open Data Index

globalopendata-800x600-scoutThe Global Open Data Index, an initiative of Open Knowledge International, is at once an index of government open data and an assessment of these indexes. As the site notes, “Each year, governments are making more data available in an open format.” The Global Open Data Index tracks whether these data are released in a way that is open and accessible to citizens, the media, and the generally curious.

The Index ranks countries based on the availability and accessibility of data across 13 categories (including Election Results, Government Spending, and Legislation), displaying the results in an easily navigated infographic and map. Visitors to the site may also view open datasets, when available, by following links on these graphs or by conducting a text search. This makes the Global Open Data Index an excellent one stop shop for national data. Country rankings are updated annually. [MMB]

This review originally published in The Internet Scout.

Time Management for Busy Geeks [RUBY]

TimeMgmtTime management is an important skill for getting your work done, finding a satisfactory work / life balance, and keeping your sanity. CIT’s Laurie Fox will present strategies of time management and how best to apply them to our ever-changing, technology-laden lives.
Instructor: Laurie Fox – Assistant Director & Manager for Support Services, Computing and Information Technology

Thursday, February 18, 2:30 – 3:30 pm | Milne 104

[Register for Ruby Certificate Credit]

New Access to Experian’s Credit Data Reports

business_research-400x300Our ABI/INFORM database now has access to the Experian Commercial Risk Database, containing over 40 million credit data reports for both private and public companies, allowing researchers to see details such as contact information, size, industry, MSA, sales range, business type, bankruptcy information, credit risk, and more. These reports are full-text with coverage from December 10, 1980 to the present.

ABI/INFORM can be found under recommended databases on both the Business/Economics and Accounting/Auditing library research guides.

To find these reports, search ABI/INFORM for a company (e.g.“Ford Motor company”), then limit to reports (or limit further to just experian reports under publication title).

FindingExperianReports_ABI-INFORM

For more info on the new content, see the announcement on ProQuest’s blog.

Data: What Do YOU Need in our Collection?

ScipioneCensusLecture

Paul Scipione talks about his mentor and friend Dr. George Gallup, well know for developing the Gallup opinion poll.

The library held a successful Celebration of Data event last Wednesday (April 24, 2013) where Professor Emeritus Paul Scipione gave a lecture on the value of census data.

“Looking at census information, you are able to see not just statistics, but that there are stories in there…”.  The data provides “the very story of the United States,” giving us a historical picture of when Americans became affluent enough to afford a family car, televisions, college degrees or their own homes.  Scipione tells us how businesses saw the value of census information for market research and how technological advances impacted what and how much information could be collected and offered by the Census Bureau.  For more, watch the lecture online.

The event was part of the 2013 International Year of Statistics, an initiative of over 1900 participating organizations from all over the world who are holding events to celebrate data and promote the importance of statistics.

But we don’t want the conversations to end there!

DataQuestionMark1

Tell us, what are your data needs?

It is most fitting that during this year of statistics, Milne is developing a census and data collection for Geneseo.  The purpose of the collection is to provide student, staff and faculty researchers easy access to data; and to provide area entrepreneurs and small businesses access to economic and demographic data for market research.

This collection will be most useful if folks like you have a hand in its development.  Let us know what resources you need in this collection.

Join us to talk about data!

CelebrationImage2Let’s talk about data!

Wednesday, April 24th, Milne Library will host A Celebration of Data on the upper level of the library from 4:30 – 5:30 pm.

This event is one of hundreds being held by over 750 Colleges and Universities worldwide who are hosting discussions surrounding data and statistics as part of The International Year of Statistics 2013.

The campus and Geneseo community are invited to share in a discussion  about how our census and data collection can be most meaningful. Light refreshments will be served.

Infographics Get A Second Wind

Info-ArtToolsInfographics have been around for centuries, from ancient cave paintings  to modern subway maps to (probably the most recognizable infograph of all time) the Periodic Table published back in 1869.

Recently, infographics and info-art have gotten a second wind.  Data visualization has have become a popular trend for folks who want to quickly and easily present complex information.  It’s no wonder since we live in an age where data is being produced at exponential rates.  In fact, Google executives estimate that every two days, we create as much data as we did between the “dawn of time through 2003.”  Every two days!  Much of this is generated from social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Four Square and the InfographDisplaylike.

The increasing number of easy-to-use tools available has also made it easier for those without a degree in design to generate creative infographics; and to share them with the masses via social media.

Here’s a few tools that you might try:

Piktochart visual.ly Tagxedo
Wordle easel.ly Many Eyes
  Stat Planet by Stat Silk  infogr.am  creately

Find even more tools on our Census & Data Library Guide.

Finding Biology Data

Looking for biology data?

Projects, labs, and papers can all sometimes benefit from the use and analysis of data.  Professors may even require that you incorporate some original analysis of data in your projects.

If you are searching for biology data, I generally recommend two primary strategies:

First, you can start with a journal article.  Most primary research articles contain charts or tables of data that you can use.  And many articles now come with supplementary data – additional charts, graphs and data tables in a separate file that contribute to the article.  This is a great strategy if you are looking for data on a particular topic. Start with a search in Scopus or PubMed (from the biology subject guide) using keywords appropriate to your topic.

Second, you can start with the data.  There are biology data repositories across all fields – genetics, ecology, molecular biology, etc.  Where you look depends on what kind of data you need.  The biology subject guide details dozens of data repositories across all fields and can be a useful starting place. This is a useful strategy for those times when your professor says, “Find some data, any data.” Alternatively, you may already know that you need gene sequence data (or another specific kind of data) and there may be a data repository just for that.

Correlation doesn't imply causation, but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing 'look over there'.

Courtesy xkcd.com, CC BY-NC 2.0

Of course, if you have trouble finding the data you need, you can talk with a reference librarian to help you search.  Stop by the service desk, send us an IM (from any library webpage) or request an appointment online.

Once you find the data, you’ll need to bring it into your favorite data analysis tool.  Stop by the library service desk to chat with one of our Tech Help students, or set up a technology consultation with our technology instructor, Steve Dresbach to help you do this.