Choose your own big data adventure

Choose your own big data adventure

New DemCap Analytics site lets users compare democracy and capitalism around the world 

Have you ever tried to state your beliefs about capitalism or democracy or how they intersect? Is the United States a beacon of civic participation and freedom of enterprise or a hotbed of political polarization and inequality? How do you think we stack up against other countries? 

The Miller Center’s Project on Democracy and Capitalism recently launched DemCap Analytics, a free web-based platform that guides users to interact with data sets that can shed light on questions like these. The research on that data can, in turn, help unlock the complex relationship between a healthy democracy and a capitalist economic system. 

Created in response to feedback from educators from middle school through graduate school, DemCap Analytics provides new analytical tools and a conceptual framework that instructors can use to guide fruitful conversations about contentious topics related to democracy and capitalism. The platform empowers not only students but any user to dig deeper into assumptions and preconceptions about these two fundamental American institutions. 

Currently, the platform offers 400 data sets drawn from a variety of sources, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, and think tanks. Special integrated tools help users visualize and understand different metrics related to democracy and capitalism. A series of articles provides definitions of relevant terms. Embedded videos feature experts explaining important concepts. And a suite of case studies walks students and instructors through use of the data sets and website tools in  a classroom setting. 

Check out to explore your own assumptions about how democracy and capitalism interact. Surprising insights await regarding how the two institutions clash but frequently coexist in unexpected and mutually productive ways.