A unique approach weaves background information about data with practical, hands-on lessons that develop fundamental research skills all students should understand. Easy-to-follow tutorials provide readers with step-by-step instructions to quickly begin analyzing data without having advanced knowledge of data analysis or statistics. Extensive illustrations throughout the book demonstrate to readers how to understand data. End-of-chapter On Your Own exercises challenge readers to develop their skills through easy-to-use data files and questions to reinforce the chapter learning objectives. Student Study Site includes data sets that readers can use to test their data literacy

Clues for Uncovering Data

One of the big challenges in becoming data literate is being able to quickly identify data and determine which government agency keeps them. If the data are posted on the Internet, we can find and download them. If data are not posted online, we can request them from the agency.

To meet that challenge we need to develop a data state of mind, one that opens our eyes to the proliferation of data online, in government agency mainframes and servers, and in university libraries. After developing a data state of mind—or data antennae—it will be easier for us to see the possibilities. Data are everywhere.

Understanding how and why government agencies process data is a good ...

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