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Datafest Resources

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Software resources:

If you are working on your personal computer, you can access the following software on WebApps:

  • ArcGIS (mapping/GIS)
  • JMP Pro (statistical)
  • Mathematica (mathematics/modeling/analysis)
  • MATLAB (mathematics/modeling/analysis)
  • Minitab (statistical)
  • Office (word processing, presentations, spreadsheets)
  • SAS (statistical)
  • SolidWorks (engineering/simulation/design/modeling)
In addition to these, we also recommend R for statistical analysis.  R is a free, open-source software that can be downloaded here. 
We encourage you to explore the online notes created for our World Campus statistics courses (as well as courses in other departments).  Some courses that you may find useful:

Geospatial and Mapping Applications:

See the corresponding handout in your welcome packet for more details on these applications.

  • SimplyMap
  • PolicyMap
  • Data-Planet Statistical Datasets
  • East View Geospatial LandScan Global Archive
  • Social Explorer
Related research guides:


Resources for finding external data:


Minnesota Population Center

The Minnesota Population Center is one of the world’s leading developers of demographic data resources. They provide access to an amazing collection of population data funded by the Federal government.
Tutorials for using this product can be found here.
Read the FAQ for each resource to avoid misuse. 

Note: you will need to register with MPC before extracting data.

Some collections included are as follows:

  • IPUMS-CPS: Harmonized data on people in the Current Population Survey, every March from 1962 to the present.  This contains a rich collection of economic, employment, labor and household data.  For example number cars per household.

  • IPUMS-USA: Harmonized data on people in the U.S. census and American Community Survey, from 1850 to the present.

  • American Time Use Survey-XAnnual harmonized data from 2003 forward on how U.S. adults divide their time among activities.

  • Integrated Health Interview Series:  Annual harmonized data on people in the U.S. National Health Interview Survey from the 1960s to the present.

  • Terra Populus: Integrated data on population and the environment, from 1960 to the present.  Tutorials for this product can be found here.

  • National Historical Geographic Information System: Tabular U.S. census data and GIS boundary files from 1790 to the present.


Government Data Resources: Transportation

  • Bureau of Transportation Statistics

    BTS is a central repository for transportation related data as well as an excellent portal to other transportation related data programs from other federal agencies.  Use Data Finder by mode or subject to drill down and discover these.


National Highway Transportation & Safety Administration

  • Safercar.gov This site provides data files for complaints, defect investigations, recalls, and technical services bulletins for automobiles from 2008 to the present.  

This site provides access to crash data used by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration.  There are two primary collection models for this data system:

NASS GES - General Estimates System data come from a nationally representative sample of police-reported motor vehicle crashes of all types, from minor to fatal
NASS CDS – (Crashworthiness data system) has detailed data on a representative, random sample of thousands of minor, serious, and fatal crashes.

Note: the site contains access to the codebooks, online query systems for each data collection system and access to the raw data.

Detailing the factors behind traffic fatalities on our roads - FARS is a nationwide census providing NHTSA, Congress and the American public yearly data regarding fatal injuries suffered in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This site provides access to the codebooks, online query system, and the raw data files. Click here for a nice overview of FARS data.

Federal Highway Administration


Note: if you decide you want to focus on a particular state explore the state's unique transportation department found on this site.