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Website Seeks to Make Government Data Easier to View and Understand

MFG Archive

Steve Lohr explains the new platform Data USA, which has compiled, analyzed, visualized, and presented government data… all for free.


Contributors to the Markets For Good community have highlighted the importance of understanding data, and beyond simply understanding it, visualizing it and making it digestible.


Now Data USA, the brainchild of M.I.T. Media Lab with support from Deloitte, has opened the floodgates to years of federal government, state, and city data to the public. The goal is to transform data into stories. For nonprofits working with, or needing access to, data in the United States, Data USA, provides free, open source data that is already packaged into comprehensive visualizations.



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As Peter Manzo explained in No Numbers Without Stories, No Stories Without Numbers, “to take in and make sense of data from multiple sources requires increased internal capacity, both in staff and tools. This level of investment, necessary as it is, can be out of reach for many organizations with smaller staffs and modest budgets, strengthening the case for open and combined data to support the social sector.”  


Through Data USA, nonprofits that previously lacked funding or the human resources necessary to gather and analyze data now have a tool that they can use to better support their missions.  


Users are able to easily navigate data to pull out information and visualizations in areas such as jobs, skills, and education across industries and geographies. The platform also includes stories and maps that highlight and visualize different types of data.


Data USA hopes that organizations, policymakers, citizens, and executives can use this data to inform decision making.


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Read The New York Times article here.  


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