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Thought Builders
Here's an evolving list of links to pages that can help to frame hypotheses, formulate questions, illuminate findings, and stimulate thinking:

  • Pew Research Center is chock-full of interesting facts, figures, statistics and trends, both domestic and international.
  • The Economist never fails to deliver an interesting tidbit or two.
  • As their advertising indicates, it's a lot more fun to deal with the US Census Bureau these days. Packed with basic data, it's a great place to get information on the US population and its many subgroups.
  • The Brookings Institution is a non-profit research organization that aims to inform domestic and foreign policy, but also provides both hard data and opinions relevant to many marketers.  They tackle every topic from measuring happiness to adopting digital medical information technology.
  • To see running tallies of everything from the current world population to the number of TV sets sold today, check out Worldometers.
  • For inspiration about how to show data in a fresh and understandable way, it's worth a visit to Information Is Beautiful, a truly beautiful site by David McCandless.
  • Consumer observations, trends and predictions based on a global network of "spotters," from Trendwatching.