This guide provides resources for open data, an overview of popular data visualization tools, and tools to help you create your own data visualizations.
Data is an extremely important facet of the research process, but can often prove confusing. It can be messy, convoluted, and hard to conceptualize. The data you have may not actually answer the questions you're asking. Or alternatively, you may have come up with some promising answers to those questions, but be unclear how to communicate a connection between these claims and the data itself for your readers.
Data visualization is the term for information collected and expressed in the form of an image, chart, graph, plot, cloud, tree or other graphical means. Presenting data in a visual way can make your research more engaging as it is an extremely helpful resource in investigating, analyzing, and communicating research data. When used effectively, data visualization can help a reader grasp a trend or correlation intuitively and near-instantaneously, no matter how complex the underlying data may be.
Find these resources through the library's databases. You must be logged in with your Connecticut College credentials to access these sources.
ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) maintains a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences. It hosts 16 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other fields.
Choose from an extensive repository of statistical data sources containing more than 90 billion data points from more than 70 source organizations.
The open web provides many options for finding data resources. Try using:
Google Advanced Search
Tips for Advanced Google searching include:
Google Dataset Search - A search engine aggregator of data resources that are freely available to use.
Google Public Data Explorer - A powerful tool to explore, find and visualize U.S. and international data in one place. Visualizations can be selected to create line, bar, scatter, map, and other visualization formats.