09 November 2008

NSF vs. NEA vs. USAID vs. NEH vs. IMLS

I faced off five grant-making US government agencies: the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The NSF was clearly in the lead, followed by the NEA and USAID. IMLS was at the bottom of Google-popularity. However, which one was decreasing or increasing its search volume? That was hard to see. I downloaded the data and plugged them into MS Excel. I made a graph of the cumulative weekly Google searches:

The lines were pretty smooth, in other words, none of the agencies saw extreme differences in search volume from one week to another. How about a graph showing the trend lines of the change percentage of the data of weekly Google searches?

Now I was getting somewhere: obviously, the IMLS experienced the highest increase on average, then the NSF and USAID. The other two showed a decline on average, with a small decline for the NEH and a larger one for the NEA. Getting back to Google Insights for Search, I had a look at how the searches were spread geographically. First, the NSF:

The top 3 states were New Mexico, District of Columbia and Maryland. Nevadans stood out for searching for the NSF the least. Next, the NEA:

The leader was here Arkansas! Not the state I would have most linked with the arts if you'd asked me. There must be an explanation for this: any suggestions? No. 2 was Alaska—also unexpected—followed by Vermont. Let's move on to USAID.

DC led big time as was expected, followed by Maryland and Virginia which also have a high concentration of federal government people concerned with international issues. North and South Dakota, Wyoming and West Virginia had no searches for USAID at all. How did the NEH fare?

DC, Rhode Island and Massachusetts were the most interested. The "zero-searchers" of USAID were joined by Nevada, Idaho and Montana. Finally, how did the distribution pattern of the IMLS look?

Strangely enough, Idaho was the clear leader! It was followed at some distance by DC and Maryland.

1 comment:

  1. This is some pretty interesting stuff, Francis. I'll be back. And thank you for stopping by my blog today. I hope you found it interesting enough to come again.