Archive for June, 2012

New R guide

By Kieron L Jones, on 15 June 2012

ESDS Government has produced a new guide, The R Guide to ESDS Large-Scale Government Surveys.  The aim of this guide is to provide an introduction to analysing large scale government surveys with the help of the R statistical software package.  This document is targeted at two categories of users:

1.  Those outside higher education, or who do not have access to one of the commonly used statistical packages such as Stata, SPSS or SAS (as R is free of charge) but who would like to conduct their own analysis beyond what is usually published by data producers such as the Office for National Statistics (for example statistics for specific groups of the population).

2.  More advanced users who are already familiar with one of the aforementioned packages but would like to learn how to carry out their analyses in R.  The guide, therefore, focuses on providing step-by-step examples of common operations most users carry out in the course of their research: how to open data sets, do basic data manipulation operations, produce simple descriptive statistics or weighted contingency tables.  This is meant to provide the first category of users with a range of procedures that will help them produce straightforward and robust analyses tailored to their needs without spending too much time on learning the inner workings of R.  The second category of users will find a number of familiar operations from which they will be able to further expand their R skills.

It should be noted however that this guide is not an introduction to R.  Beginners should use it in conjunction with one of the more comprehensive guides available online.  Links and information about R resources are available at the end of the guide, which is available from http://www.esds.ac.uk/government/resources/analysis/

Global Economic Prospects – June 2012

By Kieron L Jones, on 15 June 2012

The World Bank’s twice-yearly Global Economic Prospects examines growth trends for the global economy and how they affect developing countries.  The reports include three-year forecasts for the global economy and long-term global scenarios which look ten years into the future.  Topical annexes in this online publication cover financial markets, trade, commodities and inflation.

The Global Development Finance analysis will now be covered in the Global Economic Prospects. Past editions of the Global Development Finance reports are available here.

Recent Library acquisitions

By Kieron L Jones, on 13 June 2012

Schlefer, Jonathan, 1949- The assumptions economists make / Jonathan Schlefer. Cambridge, Mass. ; London : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.

Rose, David C. (David Charles) The moral foundation of economic behavior / by David C. Rose. Oxford : Oxford University Press, c2011.

Wapshott, Nicholas. Keynes Hayek : the clash that defined modern economics / Nicholas Wapshott. New York ; London : W.W. Norton, c2011.

Scott, Bruce R. Capitalism : its origins and evolution as a system of governance / Bruce R. Scott. New York ; London : Springer, c2011.

Stopher, Peter R. Collecting, managing, and assessing data using sample surveys / Peter Stopher. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Berg, Bruce L. (Bruce Lawrence), 1954- Qualitative research methods for the social sciences / Bruce L. Berg, Howard Lune. Boston ; London : Pearson, c2012.

New directions in public opinion / edited by Adam J. Berinsky. New York ; Abingdon : Routledge, 2012.

Clarke, Kevin A. A model discipline : political science and the logic of representations / Kevin A. Clarke and David Oxford : Oxford University Press, c2012.

Parliamentary roles in modern legislatures / edited by Magnus Blomgren and Olivier Rozenberg. London : Routledge, 2012.

Whiteley, Paul. Political participation in Britain : the decline and revival of civic culture / Paul Whiteley. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

Upcoming ESDS events

By Kieron L Jones, on 12 June 2012

Family Resources Survey user meeting
Friday 22 June 2012
Royal Statistical Society, London

This meeting will provide a forum for the exchange of information and views between users and producers of the Family Resources Survey.  It is aimed primarily at users and potential users of survey microdata.

The meeting is free to attend and lunch is provided.  To view the programme and book a place please go to http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/events/2012-06-22/


An Introduction to the International Passenger Survey
Friday 29 June 2012
Basement Computer Lab, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, University of Manchester

A one-day workshop to introduce the International Passenger Survey to those with no or little knowledge of the IPS.

The workshop is free to attend and lunch will be provided.  To view the programme and book a place please go to http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/events/2012-06-29/


Health surveys user meeting
Tuesday 10 July 2012
Royal Statistical Society, London

This meeting will provide a forum for the exchange of information and views between users and producers of the UK health surveys.  It is aimed primarily at users and potential users of survey microdata.  The programme contains a mixture of papers from data producers and researchers and a poster session at lunchtime.

The meeting is free to attend and lunch is provided.  To view the programme and book a place please go to http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/events/2012-07-10/


3-Day Multilevel Modelling Course: Modelling the impact of households and geographies in health research

Multilevel models and MCMC methods using the new STAT-JR package

A workshop given by:

Bill Browne, Centre for Multilevel Modelling, University of Bristol
Ian Plewis, Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester
Mark Tranmer, Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester

Wednesday 11 – Friday 13 July 2012, Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, University of Manchester

The focus of this three day workshop is on the use of new statistical software, STAT-JR, for fitting complex statistical models.  We will focus on multilevel modelling where the multilevel structure is determined by the sample design, in particular on the way the methods can be applied to the Health Survey for England.  This structure will then be used to examine the extent to which variables such as height, weight and BMI are clustered by household and area and whether any of this variability can be accounted for by background variables such as social class and educational qualifications.

The first day will provide a general introduction to the dataset and STAT-JR.  On the second day we will give sessions on Bayesian statistics and MCMC methods that the package uses and then describe its application to continuous multilevel models.  On the third day we will finish by describing its use on binary response models and give a brief demonstration of an alternative E-book interface to the software.  The workshop will be a mixture of lectures and practical sessions using the software on the datasets provided.

What is STAT-JR?
For the beginner, STAT-JR allows access to many different statistical software packages (such as MLwiN, winBUGS and R) through a simple point and click interface.

For the advanced user, STAT-JR allows construction of their own functionality through the writing of or customising of the templates that the system is built upon.

For the software developer, STAT-JR allows incorporation of their packages within the system and easy comparison of their software with other packages that exist.

STAT-JR offers a web based test interface (‘webtest’) and an ‘ebook’ interface that can be used to create and view interactive documents with dynamic execution of the underlying content.

This workshop is jointly organised by ESDS Government and e-Stat, a quantitative node for the ESRC Digital Social Research programme which brings together academics working in statistics and computer science.

A working knowledge of multiple regression and the basics of sample design. This course will be ideal for those with limited knowledge of multilevel and MCMC methods who want to explore these in more detail or those with some knowledge of multilevel models who want to learn STAT-JR.

the workshop fee is £95.  Bookings will not be confirmed until payment is received.

To view the programme and book a place please go to http://www.ccsr.ac.uk/esds/events/2012-07-11/

The Economist – Graphic detail

By Kieron L Jones, on 12 June 2012

The Economist now hosts a number of blogs, and like The Guardian and other media organisations, includes a data blog with a ‘daily chart’.  The following links include the US presidential election.  Look out for a contemporary example of Florence Nightingale’s rose or coxcomb diagram, which gives me an excuse to link to the Understanding Uncertainty site’s great animation on this topic.