The Census Bureau has always been THE resource for a good chunk of the data economic developers utilize. However, getting at the data can be tricky. Digging through the Census Bureau’s website can be a bit of a treasure hunt (if you’re a data geek) or an act of torture (if you’re a casual user) depending on which end of the spectrum you fall.
Luckily, the Census is rolling out tools to make data access much easier for the casual user. Their latest offering is an amped-up QuickFacts tool.
When you go to the QuickFacts page it’s going to look like this:
To Access Data:
- Select a topic from the “Select a Fact” drop-down box, then
- Enter the location you want to zero in on, select the correct geography from the list that automatically generates based on what you typed, then click the “Set” button. The table below the selection options will update with the the chosen geography. You can choose up to six geographies.
- With your topic and geographies chosen you can view the data in a table (default), map, chart, or a dashboard that combines all three.
When you choose the map or chart option, it is going to redraw the map or chart based on geography levels. If you’ve chosen a city, it’s going to compare your chosen city to other cities in the state. If you’ve chosen a state, it’s going to compare your chosen state to other states in the nation.
QuickFacts also provides several options for sharing the data and visualizations: print, download in excel or csv, email, share on social media, or embed on your website.
QuickFacts is still in beta testing and they’re asking for feedback to improve upon it so share your thoughts with the Census Bureau by clicking the “Tell us what you think” button at the top of the QuickFacts Beta table.
Categories: Data Tools