The Financial Times has won two prestigious Eppy awards for excellence in online journalism.
The UK Austerity Audit, a data-led project investigating the impact of sweeping benefit changes on local economies, won in the best investigative feature category and the FT picked up a second gong for the best mobile website. Read more
Tim Berners-Lee (c) Getty
New research from Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation and the Open Data Institute places the UK at the top of the league table for open data, ahead of the United States.
The report comes ahead of an open government summit in London where David Cameron is to announce a proposal for a public register of company ownership which will show who ultimately owns and controls businesses.
The survey of the state of open data in 77 counties, notes that 55 per cent of the countries surveyed now have open data initiatives, but reiterates familiar problems for all users of open data:
- Valuable but potentially controversial datasets – such as company registers and land registers – are among the least likely to be openly released
- When they are released, government datasets are often issued in inaccessible formats
- Less than 7 per cent of the datasets surveyed are published in both machine readable forms and under open licences
- Data is often released only in highly aggregated forms
- Whilst countries might boast about releasing hundreds of datasets, if they aren’t the numbers demanded by citizens or those than can enable transparency or innovation there is little potential to deliver impact
Most of the US statistical agencies are facing near-complete closure during the governmental shutdown, raising doubts about whether the US government will be able to stick to the planned data release schedule in the coming weeks.
The non-farm payroll numbers in particular are crucial information for the Federal Reserve as it weighs whether to ease back on its QE programme. Read more
By Emily Cadman and Callum Locke
Think data visualisation is a new thing? Think again. This fascinating map dates from 1893. Read more
Ed Miliband’s pledge at the Labour party conference to freeze consumer power prices until 2017 has pitted energy groups’ claims that a cap would hit much-needed investment against those who believe consumers are paying over the odds.
Here is a snapshot of what the currently available statistics show us about domestic power bills:
Data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change is clear that consumers have been facing steadily rising energy bills with a real terms rise of over 40 per cent for direct debit consumers for electricity between 2007 and 2012.
Latest official statistics released on Respect the Aged Day in Japan mark a symbolic milestone for the country with just shy of 32 million people – a quarter of the overall population – now over 65-years-old. (Hat tip to my colleague Ben McLannahan for spotting the numbers.)
Japan’s statistics agency also estimates that by 2035 the proportion of elderly people will rise to over 33 per cent.
Last year the IMF estimated that Japan’s working age population in 2050 would have fallen to the same size as it was at the end of the Second World War. Read more