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Data Literacy and Data Visualization

by The Ohio State University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

Many, if not most, of the major debates in modern political science revolve around questions that can be addressed with data. The sources of voting behavior, the correlates of war, the determinants of development, political economy, psychology, institutions, and conflict—all are issues that are amenable to data-based analysis.

At the same time, the amount of available data and the number of publicly-available open-source tools for cleaning, transforming, analyzing and visualizing it have increased exponentially since the turn of the millennium. With a few clicks students can compare word frequencies in books over time or construct elaborate size-weighted wordclouds—tasks that would have taken scholars weeks if not months of effort in the past.

This course introduces students to those tools and the principles behind their use in the context of applications in political science. It marries the substance of political theory to the methodologies of data visualization and exploratory data analysis. It neither requires nor imparts any statistical background: it is designed to serve either as a standalone course or as a gateway to a more advanced data-analytics class.

Customer Reviews


Incredible course. Interesting, easy to follow, funny, and engaging lectures. Love it!

Informative, Intuitive, and Interesting!

Dr. Braumoeller's series helped simplify complex and difficult data visualization programs. The lectures were divided well and greatly enhanced my understanding of the programs. I would highly recommend the series to those looking to learn more about techniques to present data and analyze it.

I viewed the series as a part of an Undergraduate Political Science course at The Ohio State University and the videos contributed a great deal to my overall success in the course. The format of the class allowed me to essentially rewind the lectures to any point I had trouble with and then use the time in class to ask questions.


These videos were the basis of our class. They are easy to follow, very informative, and really helpful. It was easy to refer back to different sections and it was awesome to watch the lectures on multiple devices. Very convenient!

Data Literacy and Data Visualization
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings