RIA for Statistics? And win a Chocolate Bar

Rich Internet Applications RIA bring desktop feelings to the browser: full interactivity, no more waiting until pages are reloaded, changing from online to offline and back without losing data and much more. Java, Flash and Silverlight based applications with multimedia elements count among these RIAs.

The comunity of official statistics has a long, strong  and very active discussion about visualising statistical information. RIA become more and more important in this field.

Considerably less visualisation discussions and examples can be found in the field of user interfaces and in communicating with users. But for this there are lots of RIA examples out there. Have a look:

The virtual post office counter (it could be our stats portal) 


Making your chocolate bar (it could be selecting a statistical portrait -;)) … and get a free delivery to your friends (while giving away your marketing coordinates!). 



Comparing websites – a playground or more than that?

There are several tools that offer interactive comparisons between websites. It’s quite amusing playing with such tools. I did it with websitegrader and got results like these for some statistics websites … and for blogstats:

Comparing Wesbites

In general I think these comparisons give a first hint and are just interesting but should never be used or understood as scientific explanations. Deeper investigations are needed.

A test with Statistics France shows only very small differences in a second report. The tool seems to be coherent in itself.

Some explanations about the measured categories (partially from Websitegrader):

“A website grade of 97/100 means that of the hundreds of thousands of websites that have previously been evaluated, Websitegrader’s algorithm has calculated that this site scores higher than 97% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness. The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of over 50 different variables, including search engine data, website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others.” – From Websitegrader. Not very transparent!

Google PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves important weigh more heavily and help to make other pages important.” – From Google

Traffic rank by Alexa . Alexa is an online service measuring millions of sites on the Internet and comparing them.

Inbound links: One of the most important measures for a website is how many other sites link to it. The more links the better.

Google inexed pages: This number is the approximate number of pages that have been stored in the Google index. The Google web crawler will visit the website periodically and look for new content for its index.

Statistically Speaking – ABS Blog for Librarians

Marketing Statistics is a lot about good segmenting the public to reach. Librarians are a very important group as they are working as a mediator. The Australian Bureau of Statistics ABS has created a blog for this group:
ABS Blog
A blog for librarians and other like-minded information professionals featuring the latest information, news, tips and stories relating to the Australian Bureau of Statistics”.
And here I found the interesting links to Statistical Literacy presented in this blog post.

The way to go?

A new report of Bivings Group shows to what extent the 100 biggest US newspapers are using Web 2.0 technologies. And it is quite astonishing.

 Some figures:

  • 96% of these newspapers have RSS feeds
  • 92% offer videos
  • 95% have blogs and 93% invite people to comment the blog posts
  • 49% offer podcasts
  • 33% invite readers to comment articles.

 How far can and will statistics sites go?

Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 12-07-2007

Swivel and Official Statistics: Things go on

Some days ago OECD has loaded some indicators from the OECD Factbook to Swivel. And Swivel is developing new services in order to improve data presentation.

It will be very interesting to see how swivelers will be working with these data and what we can learn from these activities.

Have a look in the people section and  search for “oecd” !

Swivel, OECD

Swivel and Official Statistics

I recently made a test in Swivel. I put a very small part of the international data on the Swiss Statistics Website into a graphic in Swivel and made the source available with a link to the Swiss website. Uploading the data (on divorces in several countries) was very easy. The graphic looked very simple and clear. Link:http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/8319443

And then I waited for what would happen: Comments, visits on the Swiss Statistics Website?

No the first thing was that the Swivel people put these data on the Swivel Homepage, in the Spotlight! And they put also a new titel …

Spotlight Swivel

Link: http://www.swivel.com/graphs/show/8320650

In a comment MikeC then asked for data on marriages in the chosen countries. I made an upload of these data too, and Marc – much more experienced in Swiveling than I – put them together with the divorces and was very pleased with these interesting informations.
Conclusion: Official Statistics have an immense potential to spread data to much more people. …. And there are big players thinking so, too -> see Alf’s post

Communicating via podcasts

Podcasts are very popular. You just download the file and put it on your mp3 player or on your ipod. And then you can listen to it wherever you want.

Podcasts are not yet very popular in the field of dissemination of statistics. Or may I be wrong?

Two examples (just the top of the iceberg?)

OECD promotes this new book with a podcast (and a quiz): Human Capital

NASS (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service) presents a lot of short broadcasts in its newsroom.

Well done podcasts give us the chance to attract new audiences and to broaden the interst for statistical information… Who else tries/tried it?