Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday, December 16, 2010



The following are two video tutorials that illustrate use of some of the tools that we covered in the McCormick workshop. The audio on these may be dicey so they will likely be replaced.
American FactFinder Example:
This example walks a user through selecting a Geographic Comparison Table; downloading the data; and opening it up in Excel. If you know how to download/open in Excel, just stop watching at that point.
PDQ-Explore example: 
This example illustrates a query that is not available in American FactFinder; how to produce the query in PDQ-Explore; with some digressions about PUMA definitions and weighting.
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Another "Introduction to the Census"

This was a presentation by Farley and Neidert for an ICPSR webinar on censuses around the world. The USA presentation occurs at about the 45 minute mark. You can choose to watch it or just snag the slides.

[Video of session]
Original Source is from ICPSR's Social Science Data Fair
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PDQ Explore Exercises: Poverty Focus

Guide to Variables
Selected variables from IPUMS with PUMS, ACS, and CPS equivalent names
Register to use IPUMS
(required for making an extract)
Making an Extract of the ACS 3-year data from IPUMS
[ppt] [pdf]
Posted by lisan at 08:41 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

PDQ Software: Updates

This is a newer version of the data (all the 2008 microdata files). We will have the 2009 1-year data available shortly. The 3-year and 5-year data will not be available until 2011.
The following is a link to the PDQ-Explore software that you used during the workshop. You will need to download the zip file to the C:\ drive on your PC.
As a reminder of what you need to do to get started, here is the introduction to Using PDQ-Explore, which includes some technical notes.
Introduction to PDQ-Explore

Guides to PDQ Explore

There are about 10 guides that describe in quite a bit of detail how to do many of the procedures covered in the class. If you find you need a reminder, check these out. You will need to scroll down the page to see the guides.
Posted by lisan at 08:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

American FactFinder: Examples and Exercises

"College town 'poverty' exposed: Low-income students help win grant money"
Stephen Koff and Bill Sloat | Cleveland Plain Dealer
September 17, 2006

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Geography Extras

Aggregate Data: PUMA to County conversion

The ACS provides annual data, but the geographic scope of these data is limited because of the 65,000+ population requirement. Less than 900 counties meet this cutpoint. One solution to this is to produce a PUMA-based query and then use a crosswalk to map PUMAs to counties.
PUMA to County Widget [PDQ-Explore output]
This widget takes output from PDQ-Explore and converts PUMA-based characteristics to county-based characteristics
PUMA to County Widget [American FactFinder output]
This widget takes output from American FactFinder and converts PUMA-based characteristics to county-based characteristics
Posted by lisan at 05:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 24, 2009

Creating County Level Statistics from Microdata Files

Normally one would use tabular data to produce county-level statistics. However, sometimes the measure one wants is not available in tabular data and/or the county is not populous enough for county-based measures, e.g., ACS population limits.
The following document describes how one can produce county level data from PUMAs:
Here are the links to the executable program, the crosswalk, and instructions:
Program [p2c.exe]
Crosswalk [p2c.equ]
Guide to p2c [p2c.pdf]

Monday, October 26, 2009

Class Assignments

Class Blog

Participants will make a blog entry as part of this workshop. If preferred, this can be done as a joint project among several participants. To gain access to the blog, please send a message to Lee Ridley (

Instructions for making an entry into the blog are below:

Writing in Blogger
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October 24, 2009

American FactFinder Exercises

"College town 'poverty' exposed"
Stephen Koff and Bill Sloat | Cleveland Plain Dealer
September 17, 2006

Looking at Poverty with ACS Summary Data
Exercises from a Quantitative Reasoning Class
Looking at Current Events (circa 2005)
Guide to Looking at Current Events
Data Consultant (circa 2007)
Guide to Data Consultant
Excel file [A03 Iraq War Deaths.xls]
Posted by lisan at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 20, 2009

PDQ Exercises

Agenda and Participants

Workshop Agenda

Most of the presentations and handouts are available electronically. Look for links to these under Class Presentations and Handouts.
Workshop participants
This includes the contact information for the participants as well as the instructors. Send corrections to

Friday, October 23, 2009

PDQ Explore

Using PDQ Explore

PDQ Explore is software that allows users to create and analyze queries across millions of records in seconds, and quickly refine and adjust those queries interactively.
Getting Started with PDQ
Using PDQ Software Technical requirements, installation and a few example queries
PDQ-Explore installation (readme file)
PDQ Help
PDQ Software
Zip file
Note: The contents of the zip file should be put in C:\Program Files\pdq
Directory link (download specific files):
explore.exe, EXPLORE.INI, ipacs08.pdqCodebook, and ipacs08.pdqCustomItems
These files should be downloaded to c:\Program Files\pdq. Direct links to these files are below: