Teaching Examples

NCAA financial database online
May 4, 2006, 1:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Indianapolis Star has put a database of NCAA financial reports on its Web site. What an excellent idea!

This is the most detailed, publicly available database of college athletic department financial information ever assembled.

It came from forms required by the NCAA for the 2004-05 school year. While the NCAA reports such information only in aggregate, the data is presented here by individual school — with the ability for users to sort by category and conference, and to compare two schools.

The Star obtained the forms through freedom of information requests to the 215 public schools that compete in Division I. There were 164 responses, 76 percent.

My international readers may be thinking “So what?” — but just take a look at the numbers. The design of the data tables is very clean and easy to read. If you look up my university, for example, you’ll see that ticket sales for football games brought in $11 million in 2004-05. Isn’t that incredible? (Well, not if you have ever attended an American football game …)

What is really cool about this (apart from the lovely straightforward design) is that it makes such good sense to follow up the huge effort of making 215 freedom of information requests with an online application that every journalist who covers sports and education can use … not to mention all the moms and dads who are preparing to send their children off to college.

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