John Krauss

Story Spelunking in Spain Using the Data Observatory

The Data Observatory keeps on growing! After our initial release, which included the American Community Survey in the United States and the Spanish Census, and later demographic data from the U.K., we’ve leveraged local economic indicators from CaixaBank to vastly expand the scope of the Data Observatory.

We asked some colleagues in Madrid to play with the new data, here’s what they found:

Just a few SQL statements can bring the data into your CARTO map. In addition to the demographic and housing measures that were already present in the Data Observatory (population, education level, etc.) there is now a suite of economic measures available, such as:

  • Number of businesses
  • Type of business (industrial, retail, wholesale etc.)
  • Further detail on those businesses (manufacturing, supermarket, mining, etc.)
  • Number of vehicles registered (automobile, bus, trucks and vans, etc.)

These can be easily normalized against existing measures in Spain, as well as mixed with your own data.

A quick dashboard immediately reveals something strange.

While most municipalities in Madrid have fewer cars than people, Robledo de Chavela and Colmenar de Arroyo, on the western edge of the city, possess fewer than 5,000 people, but over 100,000 cars! With over 17 cars per person, they immediately pop as major outliers on the map.

A Google search tells us that Robledo de Chavela is a “tax haven” for cars.


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With hundreds of measures in Spain and hundreds more in the U.S., what stories do you think you can find in the Data Observatory?

El Diario visualized the June 26, 2016 Spanish general elections to discover which political parties received the most votes municipality by municipality based on voting totals. Now imagine combining that data analysis with the Data Observatory’s economic measures to gain imperative insights on what a high or low voter turnout means for economic resources region by region.

Continuing our analysis of Colemenar de Arroyo and Robledo de Chavela, we now know that less than 50% of their population votes but are disproportionately exempt from vehicular taxes.

Discover how the Data Observatory enhances your location-data through advanced analysis methods in our recorded webinar. Watch it as many times as you need to!

Happy data analyzing!

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