Data: Citizens born in the U.S., CF crime data, gas prices in U.S.

Census data: Citizens born in the U.S. by county

Cedar Falls data: Crimes in Cedar Falls: Aug, Sept. 2013

Gas data: Gas prices in the U.S.: 1993-2012

Data: Income below poverty levels in Iowa

From Katie Grassi:

Census data: Income below poverty levels

10 Articles dealing with Poverty that could be improved with this data from the Census

  • This is an article about the poverty level of children and could easily be improved by seeing the data breakdown of how many children are at poverty levels in Iowa and what age they are.

  • This article used the Census showing racial demographics with poverty levels and percentages, but the data I used could also be with the ages and sex of the individuals.

  • This article cites the Census talking about families that are at poverty levels in Iowa, but could use the data I found to talk about single parent families and also single individuals that are at the poverty line.

  • This article could include not just Woodbury county, but compare the poverty rates to the other counties and their rates.

  • This article talks about the number of people on food stamps, but the data I found could be added and compared to this to see how many people are currently on food stamps from each of the different counties in Iowa.

  • This article talks about the obesity levels, but could be paired up to see if there is a correlation between poverty levels and the amount of obesity due to lack of money to pay for nutritious food.

  • This article talks about the healthiest counties and least healthy counties in Iowa. The data could be added to support the levels of poverty and show how nutrition is impacted due to healthier living and access to opportunity.

  • Information could be added to these maps and data about the areas that are highest in poverty in Davenport and that county. There could be a map comparing the levels of poverty to income and status or geographical location.

  • Information could be added to this article about the recession and how it impacted the levels of poverty across Iowa.

  • Information could be added to this article about the access to healthcare in different parts of Iowa and the levels of poverty with age and sex specific information.

Data: Ages of householders in Iowa

From Jake Bemis:

Census data: Ages of householders

Ten articles that could have been improved by data:


This article could have used data to show how much money the jaycees raised and the attendance of festivities they held.


This article could have used data to show crime rates and gang relation arrests


This article could have used data to show the number of accidents in this area compared to other busy areas in near communities


This article could have used data to show attendance records and ticket revenue of recent seasons


This article could have used data to show this QB’s passer rating compared to other QB’s in the NFL


This article talks about a growing popularity for an online service. It could have used data to show how popular the service has become


This article could have used data to show the amount of fines/arrests/etc. to show how many local businesses have gotten in trouble to serving alcohol to minors

8) This article could have used data to show spending habits of the US since Obama has been in office


This article could have used data to show crime rates in Waterloo or crime rates that involve a gun


The article could have used data to show how lackluster the running game for UNI was compared to other games this season

Data: Poverty status by sex, education attainment in Iowa

From Linh Ta:

Census data: Poverty status in the past 12 months of individuals by sex by educational attainment

10 Articles that could use data

1. In the article below, the author makes multiple references to weight loss and weight gain. It would be interesting to take a look at weight loss/gain in Iowa compared to other states, and the United States compared to the world globally. Even just a few numbers on the amount of people who are obese can put the “epidemic” into context.

2. In the video below, the business editor discusses the World Food Prize, a major event in Des Moines. However, knowing the number of attendees expected and the number of attendees in the past would give viewers a taste of how popular the event is. It would also be interesting to see if it’s gained or lost popularity.

3. The below article discusses the Waterloo City Council’s decision on regulating dogs, especially after a high amount of pit bull attacks in Waterloo recently. It would be interesting to know how many pit bull attacks there were this year in comparison to previous years to see if it’s more of a problem, or if it’s just gaining more media coverage.

4. The below article discusses e-cigarette popularity. I’m curious to see the exact numbers of people who smoke e-cigarettes now, in comparison to just a year ago. And if there is an increase, why is there an increase?

5. The below article talks about E-30 Biofuel blend and I’m interested in learning the average mileage cars and other vehicular machines can get while on the blend. Then, there could be a comparison of the biofuel to other more common fuels Iowan’s use.

6. This article discusses the T-shirt exchange swap at the University of Northern Iowa and its popularity. However, I want to know how many T-shirts are being donated. It would be an interesting number so people could determine its popularity.

7. Hog operation expansions were approved by a panel for Linn and Winneshiek counties. Hog operations are controversial, since many people complain about the smell and the impact it has for residential areas, so while it may be tough, it would be interesting to try and see how counties or areas with hog farms are doing in regard to property prices, taxes, etc. and see if hog operations have a negative, stagnant or positive affect in Iowa.

8. Iowa legislators said they plan to introduce bills once again to decriminalize marijuana. Finding data which shows the crime rates of places which decriminalized marijuana in comparison to places which haven’t would be an interesting study and data to see whether crime rates are higher or lower.

9. The article discusses going into a law career, but doesn’t discuss the general job rates of students who actually went on to law after graduating from Iowa. Since most schools keep up with their alumni, finding data from the school that shows how many law graduates actually went into a law career would boost the article.

10. This article discusses the hopeful governor candidates in Iowa, but it does not discuss recent polling data that the Register did regarding Iowan’s opinions on Branstad and his stay in office. It is interesting data because it shows that Iowan’s like Branstad but do not want him in office and it could assist the reader in understanding the horse race of the election.

Data: English speaking Iowa

From Chelsea Ecklund:

Census data: English speaking

10 news sources that could be improved with data:

1) This article was about New York state police officers arresting seven motorcyclists at one time for reckless driving. I think data on motorcycle-related accidents and their frequencies throughout the year would have been beneficial to the article to demonstrate why these arrests were important.

2) This article is about Steven Sanchez, a transgender student,  being crowned UNI’s homecoming queen. I’ve noticed a trend in non-gender conforming students across the country being crowned on their homecoming courts, so some statistics on how that has happened nationwide would have been a nice supplement to the article.

3) This article was about social media fueling the “thigh gap” diet craze. Due to sites like Twitter or Tumblr, girls are feeling more pressure to achieve a gap between their thighs, which is leading to eating disorders. To complement this article, I would have included data on how many times the words “thigh gap” have appeared nationally on Twitter and Tumblr in the past five years. This data should be semi-easy to obtain because those words are usually tagged.

4) This article covered the arrests of four men in Black Hawk county for distribution of methamphetamines over the course of a year. To add to this article, I would have included a dot map on drug-related arrests in Black Hawk county to show readers the frequency and location of these types of arrests.

5) This story was about the death of Adrian Peterson’s two year old son, and Peterson’s decision to play football on Sunday despite the circumstances. This article could go two ways in terms of data: it could include Adrian Peterson’s football statistics in a 10 year period, or it could include high-profile celebrity related deaths over a 10 year period.


This article covered Apple bringing in Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts to rebuild the Apple brand, which has slowed in growth due to emerging competition from Samsung and having not released a new major device in four years. Ahrendts has experience with rebranding, having rebranded Burberry to embrace digital innovation and to tap foreign markets. To add data to this piece, I would include a sidebar image of the trends of Apple stock over the past 5-10 years, so readers could visualize where it had been at the height of it’s success, and where it is now.

7) This article was about Iowa’s business school again being named one of the best in the nation, and was heavy in data. The article included statistics about the business school, statistics for other schools, and listed the ranks of a couple schools as well. I like the way data was used in this article, I just wish the article would have included a link to the raw data, because sometimes it’s easier to see a chart than to read numbers and words all together. If a link wasn’t provided, the article could have at least listed the top 20 business schools (without other statistics) in a sidebar image.


This article covers the viral Youtube video, “What Does the Fox Say,” and compares its success to PSY’s Gangnam Style of last year. To add data journalism to this piece, I would include a graph showing the number of hits viral videos were receiving before the videos went viral so readers could see how quickly video popularity escalates. I would include the statistics for four or five videos, including “Gangnam Style,” “What Does the Fox Say,” “Harlem Shake,” “Call Me Maybe,” and “Friday.”


This article is about a glitch that happened during testing at xerox that allowed people on food stamps in Louisiana to have an unlimited budget. Because of the mistake, Wal-Mart shelves were cleaned out in some small town stores, and some shoppers were seen with 10 shopping carts full of food. To add to this article, I would include statistics for Louisiana that outline the number of people in the state that are on food stamps, and would depict it on a county map with various shades of one color. The darker the color, the more people from that county are on food stamps.


According to this article, Macy’s will open its stores on Thanksgiving Day to keep up with stores opening on Thanksgiving night and with online competition. To add data to this piece, I would include a graph depicting what times popular stores (Best Buy, Macy’s, Target, Wal-Mart, etc.) have opened in relation to Black Friday shopping. This would visually depict that stores are opening earlier and earlier each year, and that Black Friday shopping has gradually shifted towards Thanksgiving Day shopping.

Data: Racial breakdown in Iowa

Census data: Racial breakdown in Iowa

Ten articles that could have been improved by data:


This story covers a survey showing increased “bad behavior” with irregularity in children’s bedtimes. While it gives the basic information of the survey, it does not say want qualified as bad behavior, the age of the mothers being interviewed, or how frequently they were checked in with. Also, this sentence: “Those children were also more likely to skip breakfast, have a television in their room, and have a mom in poor mental health than their regular-bedtime-having peers.” has virtually no correlation with the story and presents no data for such findings.


This story is littered with holes. Outside of saying “4 out of 5 college students texted while driving” and that 120 male and female students were tested, there is no other information supplied from the study. The author offers no data to back up the story, and honestly makes it hard to believe. I would like to know why only 120 students were tested, the ratio of males to females, the average amount of time spent driving, the average number of texts sent while driving, some data involving how safe these drivers have been in the past, or maybe even something as simple as the percent/fraction that shows males are more likely to downplay the dangers of texting while driving.


It seems the L.A. Times seems to struggle with representing data in their stories. While this article gives all the basic and necessary information, it would be interesting to see how it stacks up against other well known shows, such as “Breaking Bad,” or against historically high rated episodes such as the series finale of “Friends.” It would also be interesting to see how much the interest spike has been affected by the availability of the show on Netflix.


This story actually supplies plenty of data, but, in my opinion, it is missing two key pieces. One line reads: “If all goes well, executives expect that they can help bring the price of solar electricity into line with that of natural gas by cutting the cost of building and maintaining large solar installations.” What is the cost of natural gas? Is it significantly lower than that of large scale solar operations? Following that, every time the story mentions a drop in cost by some percentage, there is no way of telling how significant of a decline that truly is without knowing that starting dollar amount.


In contrast with the other stories posted, this article uses a terrific amount of data to really illustrate the whole idea and not leave the reader wondering or making assumptions of their own due to a lack of facts. The story mixes the data representation with interviews and accounts of people to provide a well rounded analysis.


While this story focuses more on the grand slam and the current series than on past events, simply saying Ortiz has been clutch in postseason play does not do him justice. The story is missing his average for this series compared to the rest of his team, as well as a critical piece of information another story published: The Red Sox had a 4% chance of winning that game before Ortiz came to bat.


This could add a “hit home” type of statistic by saying how many people have prosthetic limbs in America. Additionally, some further information of the quantitative style on the results of the monkey experiments could hammer home the facts.


There is no mention anywhere of how much money is estimated to have been spent via EBT card usage. I just feel like something like that should be part of a story that highlights welfare usage. Additionally, how many EBT cards were scanned in the time that the system was down?


Taking into account that this is not a “professional” news site, this article can be viewed more leniently than the others. However, adding something as simple as the number of Twitter followers that Gottlieb has could add a dynamic to the story saying that so many people would have seen that. Also, referencing the number of favorites or retweets could have solidified the part apart being praised versus criticized.


Alternatively, this not so official website does a fantastic job giving all of the facts. It provieds all the data a person could ask for when reading about this story. I kept looking for a flaw to write about, but I just couldn’t find one. They have all of their bases covered.

Data: Poverty status by sex, education attainment in Iowa

Census data: Poverty status in the past 12 months of individuals by sex by educational attainment

Ten articles that could have been improved by data:

1.) Data Story 1

This article could be improved by showing how many out of state sex offenders are in Marshalltown. You could even go as far as how many out of state sex offenders in the surrounding cities or in Iowa in general. Also, showing how many sex offenders in general that live in Marshalltown, the surrounding cities, or Iowa. Could possibly compare the data. Finally, another option would be to show where these sex offenders (out of state and general) are located.

2.) Data Story 2

I believe showing how many motorcycle crashes have happened in the area (Waterloo/Cedar Falls) or in Iowa this past year could improve the article. This can give readers an idea of how often this happens. Also, you could show causes of these accidents if available.

3.) Data Story 3

I think people would enjoy knowing how many cancer survivors will be at this event as well as how many cancer survivors have went through Covenant. You could also show the age groups of these survivors as well.

4.) Data Story 4

For this article I would suggest showing how many students are currently participating in this competition and even go as far as their success rate. It can show students who want to participate how successful this competition has been going and help them decide if they want to sign up as well as help the parents help decide.

5.) Data Story 5

Adding data about the crime rate in Waterloo could show the readers how serious of an issue this has become or if the rate has gone down in the past few years.

6.) Data Story 6

Some data that could improve this article could be past winners of this award as well the location of each winner in the past few years. Also, I think some stats or data showing the winner’s accomplishments or even her student’s graduation rate would be nice to see.

7.) Data Story 7

I think showing the success rate for children with pediatric brain cancer would help illustrate the story better. Readers can understand if Jack’s case is rare or if most children with brain cancer have a high percentage rate of going into remission.

8.) Data Story 8

Showing how many people in the country have mental illness could be a great way to improve this article. This can show the readers how many Americans are dealing with mental illness. Also, if possible, show the success rate of medications for mental illness.

9.) Data Story 9

This article could be improved by showing the murder rates in the Omaha area. You can also how the murder rates in the surrounding states or even the average rates in the country to compare. Also,you can get data showing the crime rate in Omaha to show how severe the situation is.

10.) Data Story 10

Showing how many boats have capsized this year can show the readers how often things like this happen. Also, showing how much money it could cost to repair the boat would be interesting as well to read.