OUR EXPERTISE

A sample of the U.S. population, including some of your members and others in your profession, responds to Census Bureau surveys every year, throughout the year. But finding the information they collectively provide has never been easy, until now.

With years of experience behind it, Decision Demographics can unlock the power of Census data that lurks in computerized data files, from millions of census forms collected every year. These forms are tabulated into many standardized reports, but the answers you care about are still hidden. Imagine having a Census report focused only on your profession; we specialize in creating just that.

Tap Into Underutilized Data Resources
Some of the most powerful data resource from the Census Bureau are the Public Use Microdata (PUMS) files. These are actual data records of census and survey respondents that have been carefully prepared to protect the confidentiality of individuals, yet can be organized to provide an almost infinite number of tabulations. These public use files have long been a staple of academic researchers because they help generate focused, useful results about narrow targets. Targets such as the professions you serve.

Save Yourself Time
In recent years, some groups have tried to increase the accessibility of these powerful data files, recognizing that the average person finds it difficult to access and use them. Tabulations can be made directly on-line from a Census Bureau-sponsored website or through an interface from the University of Minnesota. Yet, even for seasoned and knowledgeable users of Census microdata, these are not quick and easy, point-and-click websites.

Personal computers and web access alone does not make a complex subject understandable to a lay user. Having tax preparation software does not make you a CPA, nor does using a graphics program make you an artist. Do you and your staff have the time and ability to tap the power of these rich data? If not, let us help.

The Value of our Expertise
In addition to the tables and charts, with ProTrend-ACS you get the support of experienced demographers; our staff have been helping professionals like you use census data for over 30 years. We have worked with many organizations, likely similar to yours; this helps us predict your issues and needs. We can guide you through data analysis and warn you of potential stumbling blocks. We can even help anticipate how findings may be received within your own organization.

You are also the beneficiary of comprehensive developmental work supported by the National Institutes of Health, which underwrote much of ProTrend-ACS’s development through its Small Business Innovation Research grant program. As a result we have streamlined our workflow to be faster and cheaper for you, while providing a rich graphical report in multiple formats.


Specific Examples of Where Our Experience Adds Value

Demographic experts reveal a treasure trove of solutions on issues that you may never have considered.

Assist in defining your targets
We will guide you through the detailed data definition stage of your project. Preliminary tabulations will guarantee that we will be profiling whom you really want to target. For example, do you want to include part-time workers? We may break out your target by industry groups to be sure we are capturing only who you want. Sometimes the Census Bureau definition of an occupation may differ from yours; adjustments in definitions can narrow your target to just the group you most care about.

Clearing the hurdles of trend analysis
Census data have been available every ten years. The annual ACS has started to supplant 2000 Census data. Will time trend analyses be comparing apples to apples? Where are the traps? We will help discover what you can and cannot directly compare, and devise strategies to bridge changes.

Putting in Context
We offer more than just tables and charts. We can provide top-line analysis to jump-start your own evaluation. Get a demographer’s perspective on what your data are saying. Could that be a baby-boom bubble or is the share of 50 year olds growing for other reasons? How does the influx of immigrant groups compare to your targets? We can help put these and other issues into perspective for you.

Adjusting for data anomalies and quirks
We will guide you through some of the hidden data irregularities of Census microdata. For example, when a respondent skips a question, the Census Bureau applies an algorithm to fill in the blanks. While their methods are sophisticated, odd and unexpected results do occur. For example, we doubt there are actually physicians who only have a high school education! Despite the high quality of Census data, it takes expertise to negotiate underlying issues.

This product was supported in part by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
through Small Business Innovation Research Grant 2 R44 HD036557.