SAN JOSE – The Ministry of Science and Technology in Costa Rica (MICIT in Spanish) is making its leading indicators available in an easy-to-use platform that allows users to manipulate and visualize data at their pleasure. This initiative follows the Open Data format and it provides greater transparency in the governance process.
The data in question was previously available in raw format on the MICIT’s website, published across a number of Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format files. Such publishing style was a bit crude since it did not allow for the easy manipulation of data. Under the new Open Data initiative, users in Costa Rica can visit the new site set up by the MICIT, http://indicadores.micit.go.cr , and navigate the data presented therein. The following five data tabs are laid out by default in a dashboard format:
- Investments in Tech and Science Activities
- Investments in Research and Development (R&D)
- Human Resources Allocated to R&D
- Business Innovation Activities
- R&D in Businesses
The head of the Data Indicators Department at MICIT, Leticia Duran, explained that within each tab users can drill down and manipulate, download, and share data. In the example that accompanies this article, a pie chart shows that 26.1 percent of all funds invested in R&D during the year 2009 in Costa Rica were destined to social sciences, followed by 24.7 percent in agricultural sciences. Ms. Duran added that:
“We will continue to compile data so that it can be displayed in more tables and charts since there is still information about the indicators that should be included. In fact, the end of the year will see data from the most recent surveys in 2010 and 2011.”
A neat feature in this new data platform allows users to obtain the unique identifier of the data stream they wish to use (GUID). With this code, advanced users can easily input the data into Excel spreadsheet for further extrapolation and analysis.
The underlying engine of the MICIT’s new data indicator page is Junar, a powerful data platform that The Costa Rica Star has mentioned before in an article about venture capital and angel investments in our country. Junar’s success has been made possible thanks to the vision of Walter Kissling Jimenez, a Tico entrepreneur and investor who has wisely chosen to follow in the footsteps of his father, for whom the Alajuela campus of INCAE is named after.