How do I elegantly present tabular, statistical data online and automatically?
I'd love some examples of beautifully presented tabular data online - something that works natively in a browser, ideally also on a tablet and mobile as well. Some interactivity (sorting, filtering) also OK but priority is usability and elegance like you'd find in printed statistical abstracts. Bonus points for open source web tools / frameworks that could help automate this from a database!
Right now, I find some of the most elegant presentations of tabular data seem to be locked in PDFs where folks have control of typesetting etc. Take this example
from the US census bureau for instance. Or a better one - Page 188
from the World Bank's World Development Indicators
print edition - they also have some reasonable online tables
What's particularly cool about these?
- They're very information dense:
In the PDF, Numbers in italics mean something (e.g estimates), they've got superscript annotation on individual data points, symbols for different types of missing values and categories of aggregation.
- They're easy to read:
notice how numbers are right-aligned in vertical grid-free columns, simple bolding and highlighting delimit sections
- The space they're in provides context:
In their document form, those tables are right next to notes and definitions with footnotes and references for methodologies and data sources etc.
Imagine you had a database full of statistical data along side all the metadata, sources, references, notes and presentation rules and you wanted to automatically create beautiful online statistical tables out of it - how would you do it and what are your favorite examples of it being done?