Navigating the DDL
The DDL platform is designed to allow easy access to all of its functions:
- Account creation
- Data submission
- Data search and discovery
- Data access and download
- Data use
You can find detailed instructions on the first two functions using the links above; the remaining three capabilities will be described in detail below.
Search and Discover
There are three main ways to find the data you are looking for on the DDL: browsing the Data Catalog, navigating from the homepage, and using the Search bar.
The Data Catalog is a list of every dataset and data asset the DDL contains. Access the Data Catalog from anywhere in the DDL site by clicking the “Data Catalog” option on the gray menu at the top of the screen. You can filter the Data Catalog to reduce the number of items in the list, as well as sorting the results to see the most relevant data at the top.
Another way to discover data is through the homepage, which has a number of category tiles and a section of data stories. Clicking on a tile will show a list of all datasets and other resources tagged with that category or development sector. Clicking on a data story will show the data asset or dataset associated with the featured story.
Finally, if you know what you are looking for, you can type keywords from the title of the dataset or data asset into the Search box on the homepage, which will bring you search results related to that keyword.
Access and Download
Once you have identified a data asset you are interested in, you can access the data and information about the data using the data asset primer page and and dataset primer pages. The data asset primer page contains descriptions of the data asset and details about the datasets’ source. It also has a list of datasets that the data asset contains, which can help you decide which parts of the data asset you are most interested in.
Dataset primer pages have most of the information that is also on data asset primer pages, as well as a more detailed description of the specific contents of the dataset. Dataset primer pages also have options to look at the data directly: click on the “View Data” button to explore the unfiltered contents of the dataset.
In order to download the data, click the “Export” button to view options for different formats you can use in other programs.
Use and Visualize
The DDL also provides two powerful, quick, and easy tools to use and visualize data in its datasets: the Visualization Canvas and Data Lenses. You can also apply the DDL’s Application Program Interface (API) to seamlessly use the DDL’s data in other applications.
To use the Visualization Canvas, click the “Visualize” button on a dataset page to see options for creating many different kinds of charts and graphs using the dataset.
Click here to learn more about using the Visualization Canvas.
Another option to use the DDL’s data is by making a Data Lens. A Data Lens is a dashboard containing multiple visualizations of the data in a single dataset. A Data Lens can also be interacted with, dynamically filtered, and exported to your desktop.
Click here to learn more about how to create and interact with Data Lenses.
Finally, the “Visualize” button on a dataset page allows you to open the dataset in a number of different programs, including Plot.ly. Click the “More…” option in the “Visualize” dropdown to explore the wide selection of programs that can directly open DDL data, such as Excel, Tableau and Microsoft Power BI.