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Public Policy 400 (Capstone)

If you're really interested in data...

Check out I Quant NY, where Ben Wellington does analysis and tells stories using open data. Perhaps you'll be inspired by his work to tell a data story of your own!



Finding data is an important part of this research project. You need to tell both the qualitative and the quantitative story of the problem you are writing about. How many people are affected? And for how long have they been affected? How does this population compare to a similar population in a different part of the country (or the world). 

Finding the dataset you are looking for can be challenging. There are a few ideas on this page.  If you are still struggling, ask a librarian. You can reach out to Stephanie (librarian for this class) at, you can use our Ask-A-Librarian chat service, you can visit the reference desk (3rd floor of the library) or you can get in touch with your assigned librarian.

To get started, the Libraries have these suggested data sources: Data and Statistics

Consider some Data Journalism tips and tricks

The University of Houston Libraries developed this helpful Data Journalism site. Of special interest might be the tabs called "Locating Data Sources" and "Visualizing Data."


Local (NYC) data

New York's Independent Budget Office (IBO) produces data-driven reports and analysis on a variety of topics. You can browse this site, or join their mailing list for regular updates.

If you need New York City data, try the agency itself. You can access all New York City agencies through

Thanks to open data initiatives, you can also access interesting local datasets through NYC Open Data.

Google can help you find data on the open web

As a search engine, Google can direct us to a lot of important information on the open web. To save time, use these tricks to search smarter in Google.

If you need data (or reports) from government sites, add site:gov to the end of your search

Example: water policy:gov

For public data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, use a demographic term + a location

Example: population by race new jersey

For more, see Google's Tips and Tricks.

Google also has a Dataset Search

Google also has a Dataset Search.  It's kind of like Google Scholar, but for datasets. 

You can read about it here:

You can try it our here: