Data Is Plural

... is a weekly newsletter of useful/curious datasets.

2023.08.23 edition

International cancer statistics, SSVF satisfaction surveys, Katherine Dunham’s data, Singapore’s wages, and Scotland’s common good assets.

International cancer statistics. The World Health Organization’s Global Cancer Observatory provides interfaces to a range of studies and statistics. Its Cancer Today portal features tables, charts, and maps of “incidence, mortality and prevalence for year 2020 in 185 countries or territories for 36 cancer types by sex and age group.” Those figures come from the latest GLOBOCAN estimates, calculated by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer based on data from national and regional registries. Note: “Caution must be exercised when interpreting these estimates, given the limited quality and coverage of cancer data worldwide at present, particularly in low- and middle-income countries,” the researchers warn. Previously: Statistics from the American Cancer Society (DIP 2016.01.27).

SSVF satisfaction surveys. The Veterans Administration’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program aims to “to promote housing stability among very low-income Veteran families who reside in or are transitioning to permanent housing.” The VA outsources those services to a network of 200+ selected nonprofits, which it grants hundreds of millions of dollars per year. When a veteran exits a grantee’s program, they’re invited to complete a satisfaction survey. The Data Liberation Project (which, disclosure, I run) filed a FOIA request for the survey data, and received three spreadsheets in return (among other documents), detailing nearly 40,000 anonymized responses from fiscal years 2016–20 and 2022.

Katherine Dunham. Dunham’s Data, a project led by Kate Elswit and Harmony Bench, “explores the kinds of questions and problems that make the analysis and visualization of data meaningful for dance history, through the case study of 20th century African American choreographer Katherine Dunham” (1909–2006). Drawing on materials “held by seven archives across the United States,” the team has built three core datasets, accompanied by essays, visualizations, and code repositories. They “document the daily itinerary of Dunham’s touring and travel from the 1930s-60s; the over 300 dancers, drummers, and singers who appeared with her; and the shifting configurations of the nearly 300 repertory entities they performed.” [h/t Selena Chau]

Singaporean wages. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower released its 2022 wage tables last month. The tables list the 25th, 50th, and 75th percentiles of basic and gross wages for more than 300 occupations by industry, plus median wages by worker sex, by worker age, and by establishment size. As seen in: The Straits Times’ benchmarking tool and DIP reader Joses Ho’s interactive chart of Singapore’s gender wage gaps.

Scotland’s Common Good. Scotland’s Common Good Act, passed in 1491, creates a legal distinction for historical property owned by local authorities — often land and buildings, but also “moveable assets” such as paintings, chains of office, and furniture., launched in April by investigative journalism cooperative The Ferret, presents a searchable, browsable, and downloadable dataset of 2,900+ of these common good assets, compiled largely through freedom of information requests. [h/t Chris H]