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

Online Databases

In a perfect world, we would be able to easily download all of the data that we need from the comfort of our computer keyboards. All government agencies, from the federal down to the local, would post all of their public data on easy-to-find websites that have been well-indexed by search engines. The agencies would make their data available in formats that could be easily opened in our spreadsheet or other analysis and visualization programs. They would also provide copies of any documentation that we’d need to help understand the data, and make sure that the documentation is complete.

That perfect world, of course, does not exist and never will. Although it’s impossible to know the exact ...

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