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APDEM804 SRBE - L06 Assignment

For the L06 assignment, data from the United States Census Bureau (but not necessarily from the decennial census) had to be accessed, saved, and processed. Today, the USCB provides a portion of its data via a handy, centralized tool at data.census.gov; this was the portal through which I accessed the data through easy searching and toggling of region (LA County) and year (2000 or 2010) options. From there, I was able to download it in CSV format, without any major challenges up until this point.

The main issue with assembling all of the data was its lack of interoperability. For example, the age groupings were not perfectly consistent between the censal data for 2000, and the American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2010. Furthermore, it was strange that the censal data for 2010 was not yet available on data.census.gov, suggesting that it has ultimately not solved the issue of scattered, incomplete, separately published data from various years and reports.

To resolve the issue of interoperability, I started by transposing the data and then creating new age groupings that could be compared from 2000 and 2010. At that point, it was straightforward to generate rates and look at changes in labor force participation for Los Angeles County. Although the examples provided in the assignment guidelines informed the layout for each spreadsheet, one major change I made was the decision to deduplicate data as much as possible. Rather than copy data into successive spreadsheets, I would simply use formulas to link to the first instance of the data being available (in earlier spreadsheets). While this meant that a single spreadsheet could not be studied in isolation, it also ensured that corrections or other changes immediately and consistently propagated out across the entire document.

The feedback from prior assignments focused on lack of proper citations for spreadsheet assignments. I was able to resolve this issue and ensure that a dedicated tab was in place describing sources for all the data; this was more consolidated and less redundant than putting citations under individual tables in individual worksheets.