Insights

New Platform Allows Free and Accessible Visualization of United States Public Data

Deloitte, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Macro Connections Group and Datawheel earlier this week launched Data USA, a free and open platform that collects, analyzes and visualizes shared U.S. government data to help executives, policymakers and citizens better understand critical issues in areas like jobs, skills, education and health.

Data USA is a comprehensive visualization engine for shared U.S. government, aggregating and visualizing publicly available data from multiple sources including the Department of Labor, Department of Commerce and Department of Education. The platform allows any user to browse and filter data and create visualizations to enhance their understanding of national, regional and local issues, reveal patterns, and make more informed decisions about their lives, their work and their community.

Data USA's ability to frame and filter data in categories such as location, occupation, education and industry has practical applications for a variety of audiences. For example:

  • Business owners can view regional data to determine which locations would be effective for opening a new office by pinpointing areas with the most skilled workforce along with affordable real estate.
  • Students can view income statistics to determine careers with highest earning potential or cities with the top job market for their earned degree.
  • Policymakers can quickly create maps, charts and graphs that illustrate regional, national and local data on gender wage gaps, population trends, immigration and poverty.
  • Public health professionals can use the platform to explore behavioral disease patterns across the country.

"The U.S. government offers almost 200,000 data sets for public use, often out of reach for the average citizen," said César Hidalgo, professor at the MIT Media Lab and Director of Macro Connections. This platform makes this data much more accessible and user-friendly for everyday people."

Data USA is freely available, and users can browse the data and gain insights using filters or target their view using search tools. The code is open source, and the platform is scalable, allowing for new data to be added. Application developers can build on the Data USA platform using the API and integrate additional data for custom use.

"Accessible, easy-to-use open government data can have significant economic and societal benefits," said Dr. Patricia Buckley, Director of Economics at Deloitte Services LP. "Data USA provides the tools to transform data… to better understand our populations, visualize critical national issues and improve how we live and work both today and in the future."

Article published by Cherie Hiland
Image credit by Getty Images, Corbis, Thom Lang
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