23 Sep 2015

STATcompiler Grows Up: 500+ New Indicators and a Mobile-Friendly Interface

In 1999, The DHS Program released the first STATcompiler.  It was designed to replicate the tables in the tabulation plan of the DHS final reports at the time.  Now, more than 15 years later, that database has reached “antique” status. While the user interface did get an overhaul in 2011, technology has continued to move ahead at lightning speed, with more users accessing DHS tools on mobile devices and expecting more advanced visualizations and a modern design.

In September 2015, The DHS Program released a new STATcompiler, currently as a “Beta” site.  The Beta STATcompiler is built around an updated and newly harmonized database, and is experienced through a modern, mobile-friendly user interface.

The old STATcompiler tool will remain available, but new surveys and indicators will not be added to that database, so orient yourself to the new tool today!

What’s new about the new STATcompiler?


More than 500 new indicators, reflecting current DHS data collection and reporting.
 In particular, the STATcompiler now has indicators on female genital cutting, domestic violence, new malaria indicators, and maternal mortality ratios.

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Tagging. Many people use STATcompiler to find key reporting indicators, but it is challenging to find those specific indicators in the huge list of DHS data.  The new tagging functionality allows users to see curated lists, by international indicator groups such as the MDGs or specialized topics, like gender.

 


Metadata
. DHS data users know a brief indicator title rarely captures enough technical information.  Our new “indicator details” box provides full definitions, denominators, and whether the data value is a rate, a percentage, a median, or a ratio.

 

 

New visualizations.  We are always looking for new and better ways to visualize DHS data.  The mapping functionality in the new STATcompiler now includes a pop-up box that summarizes the national trends or range of subnational values for viewing alongside the map.

 

 

Confidence intervals.  While all survey statistics have an assumed degree of error, those associated with rare events, particularly HIV prevalence and maternal mortality ratios, have relatively large confidence intervals which make interpretation of trends and comparisons especially tricky.  In this new iteration of STATcompiler, the confidence intervals for HIV prevalence and maternal mortality ratio are included, as a default, in all data views.

 

 

Mobile friendly user interface.  STATcompiler is now easily accessed through mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads.

 

Use of the public DHS Program API.  The data in the Beta STATcompiler are coming straight from the database that is accessible via the public Application Programming Interface (API).  This means that we are using the same data in our applications that you can use in yours.

 

We welcome your feedback about the Beta STATcompiler.  Please note that all STATcompiler data have been recalculated and DHS staff are still in the process of verifying the accuracy and completeness of the data.  If you see something you suspect is incorrect, please email us at statcompiler@dhsprogram.com.

Written by Erica Nybro

Erica NybroErica Nybro, Senior Advisor for Communication—Ms. Nybro is a health communication specialist with 15 years of professional experience in designing communication strategies and products for a diverse range of audiences. She is responsible for the overall management of global and country level dissemination of DHS data with the ultimate goal of increasing data use for decision making. Ms. Nybro has been with The DHS Program since 2004 and has led the DHS team in digital communication activities, including development of the new STATcompiler and mobile app, social media outreach, and online learning. Ms. Nybro has worked to strengthen capacity in communication and dissemination of DHS data in multiple countries, including Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. She has also trained international journalists to use DHS data accurately in reporting. She has a special interest in data visualization. Ms. Nybro has an M.P.H. in global maternal and child health from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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