Skip to Main Content

IDSC 198: FOCUS Colloquium

For Professor Rika Anderson - Fall 2023

In-class activity

Data Exploration Exercise

In this exercise, you'll work with your group to explore one of the data sources listed on this guide. Follow a link, find some data (in tabular or spreadsheet form) that interests you and take a few minutes to get acquainted with the data. As you do so, try to answer the following questions:

  • Who produced the data?
  • When the data were collected?
  • Scope: geography, time period, universe of included/excluded
  • Units of measurement
  • How were data collected (e.g., what methods or equipment were used)?
  • Are there more data available than what is here? If so, where?
  • Look for download options: what formats are available?
  • What comes with the download: metadata, definitions, citation?

As you are exploring, note places where you run into roadblocks. After you spend a few minutes investigating, we will discuss your experience and do some troubleshooting together as well as reporting about particularly interesting data.