Surfing with Ed on the Internet ...

by Ed Swires-Hennessy, Welsh Office

Ed continues his appraisals of different national Web Sites to stimulate use of the Internet, share best practice and encourage debate.

Denmark statistics (  http://www.dst.dk/internet/ STARTuk.HTM   ) can be accessed in English directly but can easily be toggled into Danish. The quick-to-load front page has the main index just within the one screen: contact details for the main office and the statistics library are, on my set up at least, lost off the screen. The only real graphic is the green graph common to all Denmark Statistics’ output (books, press notices, notepaper … and Internet pages).

The first heading is Key indicators which provides, as expected, mainly indicator information though a small amount of comparable historic data are included for some indicators. The list is simple but very effective with indicators grouped into related sections. The most up-to-date refers to August 1998 and the oldest indicator refers to the first quarter of 1998.

The next major statistics offering is ‘Data on Denmark’: here the data are extracted from the yearbook - including charts. The tables are well organised, as in the book, into chapters each with its own tab on the left of the screen. The data cannot be copied easily into a word processor or spreadsheet package as they have not been created with a generator like those in MS Office 97: however, I would expect the next edition to be comprehensive in this way. It is not possible to copy the diagrams though who would want to copy the three-dimensional pie charts from the external trade section? Even the Danes do occasionally make mistakes: the chart purporting to show the change in the consumer price index in fact displays live births, immigration etc. trends!

The information on the organisation of Denmark Statistics is very up to date, with an organogram dated 1 September. Even policy type documents are available in English.

The links section has had the least thought of structure and could be better organised by employing an alphabetic sort on country name under a prime hierarchical list of areas.

Overall this site was easy to use and quick to find statistics. The page loading was very quick due, no doubt, to the almost total absence of graphics.

This review was undertaken using Netscape v4 on 28 September at 19.30 using a V34.4 modem on a 200MHz machine

Suggestions of interesting sites or interesting features found at statistical sites should be sent to me at Ed.Swires-Hennessy@Wales.gsi.gov.uk   or by snail mail to National Assembly for Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff, CF10 3NQ.

Happy surfing....

PS Have you checked out the GSS site ( http://www.statistics.gov.uk/ ) recently? Or have you sent anything to be advertised on it? Statbase should be live by the time you read this: have you checked your information?