Friday, July 22, 2016

Using Census Bureau Data Made Easier: New Statistical Testing Tool Answers the Question “Is This Comparison Statistically Significant?”

"American Community Survey data can help you find quick answers on a variety of demographic and economic topics. For example, you might need to know “What’s the unemployment rate where I live?” A natural follow-up question might be “How does my town compare to a neighboring one?”
If you are using survey data to compare estimates, you must perform a statistical test to answer this type of question correctly. While it is easy to compare two estimates, survey data are based on a sample of the population — not the entire population — so it has statistical uncertainty. In the case of American Community Survey data, the margin of error is one type of statistical uncertainty. If the uncertainty is too large, then two estimates may appear different, but may not actually be statistically different. In that case, claiming there is a difference between them would not be accurate.
With the release of the U.S. Census Bureau’s new statistical testing spreadsheet tool, we are making it easier for just about anyone to carry out statistical testing correctly. The tool handles the testing behind the scenes for you. American Community Survey data may be downloaded or copied directly from the Census Bureau’s website. No special reformatting is necessary.
Statistical Testing tool

No comments: