APDEM804 SRBE on L15 Assignment
For earlier assignments, technical writing focused on steps involved in data collection and computation. However, the last written assignment was an analysis of the overall results. Earlier assignments were more retrospective and essentially retraced the spreadsheets, while the last assignment generated an entirely new document that was based upon the spreadsheets but also far exceeded them. It was necessary to interpret trends on an age group by age group basis, and in addition, to look at how trends were corroborated across different projections (e.g. between total population size, and numbers of households by age of householder). This was mentally challenging.
Compounding the difficulty of building a coherent analysis from various projections, Los Angeles County is the country's most populous county, by far. This gave me anxiety that the analysis may not even be giving the County a fair treatment, because it may be too eclectic and polyvalent for County-wide conclusions to have any real business use at the more local levels of site selection, staff recruitment, and inventorying. Nonetheless, I tried to lean towards insights that would likely have durability across multiple populations within the same age group.
In retrospect, the main change I would have done would have been to color-code cells that were conveying increases or decreases, both in the spreadsheet and the technical paper. Not only would this facilitate the reader to quickly see things at a glance, but it would have helped me begin forming my conclusions earlier in the process by having a sense of overall trends. Another change I would have made would be to spend more time conducting a review of recent articles on Los Angeles County's business and demographic trends, as this would have helped focus and condense the paper around risks and opportunities that have already been described (and, in many cases, subjected to measurement) in the public sphere.
Earlier feedback focused on lack of citations, and I found it tremendously helpful to seek out published works that examined the issues I was exploring. This was a major lead from the spreadsheet to the technical paper. Additional sources were cited beyond the data itself, while earlier assignments' citations focused on the data sources alone. When I wanted to describe examples of luxury goods targeting older adults, I found tremendous inspiration that resulted in phrases like
silver rush and even conceptualizations about older adults' more experiential shopping philosophies. In day to day life, I feel that seniors are often dehumanized or not taken as seriously as they should be — I felt that investing extra time into a cursory literature review yielded tremendous results and helped to create a more human, realistic portrayal of the people behind the data.