By Jim Qussar
Did you know that algorithms from data collection are being used to create music? Most people don’t think of data beyond something on a spreadsheet. Data sets are used to analyze everything from climate change to clean energy statistics. Although technical in nature, data sets are far from boring. We can learn some surprising facts about various industries that might shock you. Every single business and organization collects data to answer questions and capture evidence. Data can reveal fascinating facts about topics you may not typically think about on a daily basis. From endangered species to healthcare, data sets provide answers to all sorts of research questions. Data is not just a series of numbers. It’s a view into the inner workings of companies and organization. Take a look at these five data sets that will reveal how much data is a part of our lives.
U.S Department of Education, Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998
This data set is used to track how many adults are enrolling in basic education programs. There are adults that are unable to read at a basic level but would still love to learn. This data reveals how many adult learners have enrolled in continuing education programs. Did you know that between 2010 and 2011, over 2,012,160 million adults enrolled in literacy and secondary education programs? Neither did we!
U.S Government Work, Construction Spending Data
Ever wonder about how much that new apartment complex costs? Well, the U.S. Government Work department keeps track of how much money is spent on construction across America. The data set looks at the costs of materials and labor, as well as the cost for its architecture and engineering. Typically, construction is thought of as just a noise or road nuisance, but understanding what all goes into it makes you look at construction work in a new light.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat
Most people don’t think of endangered species in terms of data, but this data set reveals what species are in danger of becoming extinct. NOAA posts a yearly data compilation of the states’ different animal species in America. It helps animal conservation groups concentrate their efforts in critical areas. Likewise, the data shows the impact of endangered species on more than just the environment.
U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior USGS U.S. Volcanoes Current Alerts
When you hear about volcanic alerts, it is usually associated with Hawaii or countries in the Pacific. However, this data set reveals that the United States has volcanic warnings as well (and not just in Hawaii!) The U.S. Geological Survey compiles a list of all the volcanic activity and warnings that occur each year. The data is consistently updated with each new sign of volcanic activity. It’s fascinating to see how much volcanos actually impact America.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Provider Charge Data
The cost of healthcare is a hot topic in America. You can know exactly how much certain medical services cost and the average spending that goes into healthcare. This transparency will help Americans determine what healthcare procedures and programs they can afford.
It’s amazing the stories that data can tell. Do you know of other cool data stories? Let us know below!
All data is courtesy of data.gov. Data.gov reserves the right to remove or change links at any time.
Jim Qussar is one of our pre-sales techs, with 20 years IT experience. He’s known around the office as the guy with the beard and hair.