Wednesday, September 26, 2012

ICPSR webinar on weighting and variance estimation

New ICPSR webinar on October 4:

Weighting and Variance Estimation in Early Care and Education Data: A Training and Q&A

On October 4th, 2012, Research Connections will hold a Webinar training on using weights and estimating variances when analyzing data from national surveys with complex sampling designs. This Webinar will provide participants with a foundation for determining which weights to use for a particular analysis and how to apply them. It will also review the different options that are available for calculating standard errors for complex sample designs. The training will begin to answer the following common questions about weighting and variance estimation, as they relate to prominent data collections in the field of Early Care and Education:

-What are sampling weights and why are they important?
-Why should I use weights in my analyses?
-Why are there so many different weights in the datasets?
-Can I use weights with my statistical software package? How?
-Why are variances and standard errors important?
-What are design-based variance estimation methods and why should I use them?
There will be ample time after the presentation for live Q&A with the presenter. The conversation will continue through the end of the week via a question and answer blog, at which Webinar registrants and the data experts can continue the Q&A. Jerry West, Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research, will be presenting.

Date: Thursday, October 4, 2012
Time: 1:00 - 2:15 pm EDT
Registration link:
Please direct questions about the webinar to:

Monday, September 24, 2012

The American Community Survey in the News!

NPR recently did a story on the increase in poverty in America that featured the American Community Survey. It is a great introduction to the survey and the types of questions you can ask of the data!

You can check out the newest data release (for geographies with a total population of 65,000 or higher) at American FactFinder!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Election Data in the Classroom!


On Wednesday, October 3rd, join us for two sessions that feature tools and content to bring election data into the classroom with the goal to support quantitative literacy in the social sciences. As the momentum of the 2012 Presidential Election builds, what a great time to pique the interest of students and get them hooked on (election) data!

Register today for:

12-12:50 p.m.: SETUPS: The ANES in the Classroom

Webcast link:
The Supplemental Empirical Teaching Units in Political Science (SETUPS) have been widely used by political science instructors since the 1970s. Charles Prysby and Carmine Scavo, the creators of Voting Behavior: The 2008 Election as well as past SETUPS editions, will lead this session and describe how this series of activities can be used to teach students about survey research and data analysis as they examine patterns in voting behavior. Prysby and Scavo will include tips for classroom use of the exercises and maybe even some hints about the 2012 version!

1-1:50 p.m.: Election Data in the Classroom

Webcast link:
ICPSR's Online Learning Center and Web site include several activities that use election data and polling to illustrate basic concepts in political science. Lynette Hoelter, ICPSR's Director of Instructional Resources, will highlight specific resources and provide concrete examples of classroom use.

These webcasts are part of ICPSR’s 2012 Data Fair featuring election data. For still more sessions to be held October 1 – 3, 2012, visit the schedule at:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Economic Census 2012: Coming to A Business Near You!

New site and information from the Census Bureau!

Census Bureau Launches Website to Promote 2012 Economic Census

The economic census is the U.S. Government’s official five-year measure of American business and the economy. To encourage response to the 2012 Economic Census, the Census Bureau has launched The site includes videos, fact sheets, story ideas and talking points that business associations, chambers of commerce, media and public agencies can use to get the word out about the economic census. Information on how communities and businesses owners can use the statistics in economic development, business decisions and strategic planning is also provided.

The site also offers resources tailored to businesses in specific industries. One of these resources,, covers businesses in more than 300 industries engaged in franchising in the U.S. This site includes direct links to samples of the economic census forms these businesses will receive this fall to help them prepare to respond. The site also includes highlights from the first-ever comprehensive report on franchising from the Census Bureau from the 2007 Economic Census, as well as a video message from International Franchise Association President Steve Caldeira.

Beginning in October, more than 4 million businesses will receive 2012 Economic Census forms representing all U.S. communities and industries. The economic census provides accurate benchmark statistics that are fundamental building blocks of economic indicators, such as the gross domestic product , monthly retail sales and the Producer Price Index.The economic census gives state and local governments, Congress and community leaders the information they need to make informed decisions that shape our democracy. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day at the Data Fair!

Or actually 3 days of data! Join ICPSR for a virtual social science data fair in October. They will be featuring election data primarily, but you can also get ideas for teaching with data. UNCG's own Charles Prysby will be presenting on his work with SETUPS. All are welcome to attend.

You'll need to bring your own cotton candy (or fried reese's cups), but it is sure to be a great day at the fair!

Introducing ICPSR's Social Sciences Data Fair

You're invited to participate in the 2012 ICPSR Data Fair, "Analyzing Election Data with ICPSR"! Scheduled for October 1-3, the series of webcasts will focus on orienting new users to ICPSR's data and services, as well as providing an overview of the election data available from ICPSR and other data repositories.

Who should attend?

This data fair has been organized for the social sciences data community at large including researchers, librarians, teaching faculty, students, and policymakers from around the world who are interested in the use of social sciences data.

Who is eligible to attend?

This free fair is open to everyone, including members and non-members of ICPSR.

How do I participate?

You participate in the data fair directly from your desktop computer during the week of October 1, 2012! Live sessions will be broadcast using GoToWebinar technology. This webinar technology requires no downloads to your computer. All sessions will be recorded and the recordings and presentation slides posted should you desire to view the presentations at a later date. A schedule of sessions with links to the webcasts is available here.

What will be covered?

Beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Oct. 1, four one-hour sessions will be conducted to introduce new users to ICPSR's data and services: General Orientation to ICPSR; Navigating the New ICPSR Web Site; ICPSR in the Classroom; and Promoting ICPSR on your Campus.
Other days will focus on datasets such as the American National Election Study and other polling and election data, including those held at the Roper Center at the University of Connecticut. Click here for a complete schedule.

Monday, September 10, 2012

2011 Guilford County data from the ACS!

Mark your calendars now dataheads! The 2011 one-year American Community Survey estimates will be released on Sept. 20th. This release will have data for geographies with a population of 65,000 or more. Check out the new data for Guilford County!

The 2011 3-year ACS estimates will be released in October 2012 and the 5-year in December 2012. For more information: