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How to use data sources: Eurostat

In this blog series we’re putting a list of reliable data sources together and a ‘how to guide’. Each post starts off with an introduction to the database’s purpose and who its aimed at and this one looks at Eurostat.

This is part of Sapio Research’s series: 16 Useful Desk Research Sources and how to use them

What is it?

Eurostat is the statistical office responsible for providing the European Union with statistics; it provides open-source data which anyone can access for free. The work of Eurostat allows the European Union to compare the similarities and differences between countries and regions. Their data is broken down into nine themes:

  • General and regional statistics
  • Economy and finance
  • Population and social conditions
  • Industry, trade and services
  • Agriculture and fisheries
  • International trade
  • Transport
  • Environment and energy
  • Science, technology and digital society

Something that is particularly interesting about Eurostat is that it clearly highlights that Europe is not homogeneous. Some countries bare similarities especially those who are geographically close.  But, overall each country has its trends, that is why a site like this which provides a comprehensive overview is critical.

Who can use it?

Eurostat provides a massive amount of data covering all sectors of society, thus making it helpful to anyone with an interest in investigating and comparing European countries. The data which Eurostat provides would be ideal for anyone planning to expand their business from one European country to another, policy makers trying to compare themselves to other countries, or one could even use it as a teaching resource.

How to use it

Eurostat offers, up to date news, data tables, visualisations, publications, and reports. There is so much raw data it can be overwhelming. Thankfully, Eurostat has provided user-friendly data visualisation tools.

The Eurostat website has some excellent tools to see interesting and helpful data presented to you in a clean, clear, and concise format. This section will show you how to access and use these powerful tools.  

First things first, head to the ‘help’ section of the banner and select ‘First Visit’ from the down drop menu.

From this page, select tools from the sidebar menu.

This selection will take you to a page with a range of visualisation tools, which can be used to quickly gain an understanding of the data and make comparisons between regions.

For example, if one selects “My capital in a bubble” we are provided with a comparative graph displaying how different capital cities perform on a number of verticals.

You can change the sector and vertical by simply clicking the chart.

Mobile Applications

Eurostat also offers handy data visualisation applications which are available on your mobile. To access these follow the same instructions as above, but scroll down the page and you will see the mobile apps. 

Data tables

Apart from these very neat and practical data visualisation tools that will be sufficient for most user’s needs, Eurostat also provides open source data tables. To access these, select the data tab on the banner bar. 

This brings you to the database, a page with a categorised list of data tables.

To view a table simply click either icon, the former will open the table in a new window referred to as “data explorer”, the latter will download a zipped TSV file.

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