Data

Seeing States the Right Way: How to Weigh Data by Population

Mar 11, 2016 |

One large issue my team has run into when analyzing and reporting data across different states is knowing whether sessions within an area are higher due to more interest, or a larger population. Time after time, we see the states with the largest populations show up with the largest amount of traffic, like the graph Read »

The Data Briefing: Mobile Websites or Mobile Apps or Both?

Mar 9, 2016 |

The increasing sophistication of mobile devices has created many opportunities for developers. Thanks to APIs* and open data, developers can build thousands of mobile apps and mobile websites to meet users’ needs. This opportunity has created one of the most contentious debates in the mobile development community: mobile apps versus mobile websites? There is, yet, Read »

The Data Briefing: Serving Citizen Developers Inside and Outside of the Federal Government

Mar 2, 2016 |

Citizen developers are people who do not work in information technology (IT) but have built IT applications. Back in the mid-80s, business people would smuggle in personal computers to run their spreadsheets and word processing applications (anyone remember VisiCalc and Bank Street Writer?) instead of having to rely on data processing departments. Today, citizen developers Read »

Touring Top Colleges with the Peace Corps

Feb 24, 2016 |

I wanted to share our first dabble with data storytelling, a visualization supporting the Peace Corps Top Colleges initiative led by our awesome press team. Our goal was to enhance and expand the experience of the Top Colleges campaign and use of the data beyond the usual suspects like infographics, and other assets to show Read »

The Data Briefing: The Challenge of Opening up Federal Government Algorithms

Feb 24, 2016 |

Algorithms are becoming more important as the amount of data grows, and the complexity of government and business processes grows. Put simply, an algorithm is just a set of steps for solving a problem. If you shop online, use an online social network or a mobile app to plan your route, then you are using Read »

Analytics.usa.gov: Now with Agency-Specific Dashboards

Feb 18, 2016 | , , , , ,

We’ve added agency-specific dashboards to analytics.usa.gov! Starting today, you’ll see a dropdown from the main analytics.usa.gov page that allows you to view the same dashboard, but filtered for websites that are administered by one of 10 Read »

The Data Briefing: Demand-Driven Open Data at Health and Human Services

Feb 17, 2016 |

For many agencies, what data to make open is left up to the agency’s judgment. This has worked well as agencies do a good job in understanding the public’s needs for specific datasets. Even so, as developers and citizens begin using the open datasets, there is increasing demand for specific agency datasets. The issue is Read »

The Data Briefing: Mapping the Big Data Ecosystem of U.S. Agriculture

Feb 3, 2016 |

The Congressional Research Service recently released a report (PDF, 688 kb, 17 pages, January 2016) describing the big data ecosystem for U.S. agriculture. The purpose of the report was to understand the federal government’s role in emerging big data sources and technologies involved in U.S. agriculture. As the report author, Megan Stubbs, points out, there is Read »

Moving from Open Data to Open Knowledge: Announcing the Commerce Data Usability Project

Jan 29, 2016 | , ,

Opening up government to better serve the American people has been a key priority of this Administration from day one. On his first full day in office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, ushering in a new era of open and accountable government. Since then, the Administration has continued to take Read »

The Data Briefing: Design for Developer Experience (DX) and Data Prosumer Experience (DPX)

Dec 30, 2015 |

Recently, DigitalGov devoted an entire month to exploring how good user experience (UX) helps government design better digital products and services. UX is the art and science of understanding how people will use a website or mobile app to solve a problem or meet a need. UX is a combination of neuroscience, communication theory, information Read »

The Data Briefing: Does the Federal Government Have an Obligation to Educate Open Data Users?

Dec 16, 2015 |

Pop quiz on statistics and data science (answers at the end of the article): 1) I have some data on accidents at railroad crossings. One variable indicates the compass direction a railroad crossing faces (North, Northwest, Northeast, and so on). This variable is a/an: Ordinal Categorical Directional Interval 2) I have some ordinal data that Read »

The Data Briefing: Help #HackSuicide This Weekend

Dec 9, 2015 |

A month ago, I wrote about the White House’s call for data scientists and app developers to come together to help combat suicide. On December 12, 2015, there will be five hackathons around the U.S. to #HackSuicide. All the hackathons are free and open to the public. Even if you are not a data scientist, Read »

The Data Briefing: The Open Government Data Revolution Is Just Getting Started

Dec 2, 2015 |

Some of you may remember when President Reagan opened America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) data. President Reagan gave all countries access to the GPS data in response to the Soviet Union shooting down Korean Airlines Flight 007 on September 1, 1983. I do not believe that the U.S. realized how much opening up GPS data Read »

Analytics.usa.gov: New Features and More Data

Dec 1, 2015 | , , , ,

As of writing this post, 25,225 of the 124,878 total visitors on federal government websites participating in the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) are NOT located in the United States. And as a result of Read »

The Data Briefing: Innovating Health Data at the HHS Idea Lab

Nov 18, 2015 |

By the time this is published, the United States, along with 160 other countries, will be celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 16th through November 22nd). November is also National Entrepreneurship Month with November 17th being National Entrepreneurs’ Day. As President Obama stated in his proclamation: “In keeping with our goal of fostering economic growth through private-sector collaboration, Read »