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Public Policy

Librarian for Public Policy & Urban Planning

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Kelsey Brown
Subjects: Public Affairs

Quick Data and Statistics

Public Opinion Polls

Working with Numbers

When working with statistics, aggregate data, and microdata, it is important for you to consider the following:

  • Context - what is the hypothesis, e.g. "middle income people are more likely to register and vote than lower income".
  • Geography - the US, county, city, neighborhood, congressional district
  • Time Period - current, historical, over time,
  • Population/Units of Analysis - age, sex, race, ancestry, educational attainment/households, individuals
  • Variables - observations or item of data for each unit of analysis; responses to questionnaire and how they are organized
  • Questionnaire - what questions were asked; shows what will and won't be available in the data
  • Source of the Data - is it publicly available from a government source or collected and produced by a company for profit? 

Not sure what these and other statistical terms are? Check out the Glossary of Selected Computing and Social Science Data Terms by Jim A. Jacobs.

UCLA Campus Support

There are several departments and programs on campus available to assist you with data access and analysis:

Guides and Handouts

This handout is designed to help you understand various approaches to locating data and statistics.

CLICC Software Shortcut

Access a variety of applications from ANY computer without having to install anything. All you need is a valid UCLA logon, and to be connected to the UCLA network. From off-campus, login to the VPN first; if you're on campus you are already connected.