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Data Planet Statistical Datasets Quick Reference Guide: Home

Use this short guide for a quick tour of the Data Planet Statistical Datasets interface.


Data Planet provides fast and easy access to data from licensed and public domain datasets within an easy-to-use interface. With this dynamic tool, you can scan the contents of the collection, select subjects and variables of interest, and view your data in customizable tables and charts.

All of the data have been standardized and structured, and are described with up to 37 fields of metadata, including a controlled vocabulary.  

This Quick Reference Guide is intended as a brief introduction to the Data Planet interface, and offers a few tips and tricks on navigation and functionality. For a more detailed overview of the platform, please visit the Data Planet Statistical Datasets guide.


Enter via your library’s website. Begin exploring by selecting one of the options you'll find on the Data Planet home page:

Datasets - select this option to go directly to the data.

Search - for keywords of interest.

Browse - by broad subject or data source providers.


From the Datasets page, use the options on the right to browse datasets and make selections. Below we have selected the topic "Labor and Employment," and selected a particular dataset of interest. Once the selection is make, a chart appears to the left, displaying the data selected, and revealing other options to drill into the underlying data.


Within the data viewer, explore the data further by changing selections using the options provided. For example below, we can change the labor sector, or compare labor sectors, by clicking on the checkboxes next to items of interest. For long lists of options, use the pop out box and make your selections within the pop out list. Save to your chart. 

Note that you can also use the search box within the pop out window to search the list. This feature is very helpful with especially long lists of options.


After selecting the data, use the icon in the tool bar above the cart to display data as trends over time, a map, pie chart, or rank. Use Chart Options to customize charts. Here are some of the options for trend charts:

The Rank By option, where available, allows you to choose the criteria for ranking. Below we've ranked Federal Budget Outlays (Source data from the Office of Management and Budget) by government agency:

Availability of mapping varies by dataset. Customize using chart options.

Other options on the tool bar include:

Table - pops out a tabular view of the data values.

Export - offers different formats for exporting the data and charts for use in other applications.

Cite - provides preformatted citations for the data visualization you've created.

Calculator - allows you to create formulas and define new columns.

Embed - provides a code for the visualization you've created that you can insert in your website or coursepack.


Descriptive information about the statistical indicator(s) selected and the datasets from which they are drawn appear below the visualization:

Circled above is the DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, which appears in two places in the statistical abstract. DOIs provide a persistent link to an exact replica of the statistical abstract, including the data visualization, at the time the DOI was created. 

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