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Open Data: Just a Slice of the Pie
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Re: ACS
  • 10/23/2012 7:18:17 AM
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What is your favorite source of open data? Share your great finds!

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 10:09:04 PM
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Seth,

 

Thanks for pointing out Pub Med! This is a great resource, I have used it myself.

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 10:08:26 PM
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I agree Meta - it is basically the best data we have. That said, I'm not sure whether the ACS is the best use of tax dollars, given the size of the deficit. At a minimum, the program could be run with greater efficiency.

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 10:04:49 PM
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Noreen,

I have no argument with your concerns. Still, there's no better show in town.

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 9:36:20 PM
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Meta, I have seen how the sausage is made. That's why I am skeptical.

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 9:24:56 PM
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Thank you Meta for listing many useful Open Data links, I am certainly as guilty as anyone else for not taking advantage ( or at least bookmarking - which I have ) these resources.

I am also really excited to learn what sort of insights that can be derived from DataCatalogs.org  - the ability to see some data on governments throughout the world is intriguing.   Thanks again for these great resources !

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 6:11:55 PM
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Thank you for sharing this Meta. As someone who loves to do research, this will be very helpful.  One of my favorite databases is PubMed, Home - PubMed - NCBI .  It's a database of all the publicly funded medical studies in the U.S.  Once, it was private, but taxpayers threatend to sue since they were paying for it, they had a right to it. 

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 5:42:59 PM
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The best idea would be to have a confidence level indicated on the data so that a person using this data can be able to estimate the real picture and how it deviates from the data collected. People will never give 100 percent truth but still the data can be productive if cleaned and well processed before use.

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 4:40:17 PM
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Noreen,

 

On the issue of respondents lying or making arrors responding to surveys... Yes, that happens. Yet I urge you to be cautious about assuming a data point to be false simply because it is unexpected.

Let's take the examples you named - a suspiciously low income in a wealthy neighborhood, and a low electric bill relative to the neighborhood average. Here in Chicago, the downtown area near the lake is said to be quite wealthy; I have even seen articles claiming that some of these neighborhoods are among the wealthiest in the US. Yet living in an expensive neighborhood isn't the same as having a high current income. Many people in these neighborhoods are retired and living on assets, others supported by an affluent parent, and quite a few are just squeaking by. While most people in any given area have fairly similar electric usage, there are glaring exceptions. I worked at the local electric utility for years, and vividly recall sitting with fellow analysts pondering how it was possible that a condominium residence could consume 20,000 kW of electricity per month (about 20 times the usual amount). This wasn't reporting error - we had the meter data.

Re: ACS
  • 10/22/2012 4:35:45 PM
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'I can tell you that people lie'

Noreen, could not help but to smile upon reading that. It's a long standing tradition of keeping things close to the vest when dealing with the goverment. Data sharing between agencies has caused many to experience undue as well as well deserved scrutiny because of information divulged. 

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