Still Waters Run Deep: Update on Survey Analysis

I was keeping it pretty steady there with the survey analysis, basically running chunks of numbers/analyses as I went.

However, as I worked through the part-time builder analyses I realized that I was running up against a few limitations to this step-by-step approach:

  • For one, it was creating a bit of an awkward comparison for readers who might be picking their way through what I’d been posting to the blog. The category of “all builders” was comprised of either full-time or part-time builders (with only a couple of exceptions for people who didn’t fit either category). So, comparing “full-time” to “all” builders meant, in essence, just talking about part-timers implicitly because “all builders” is just an average of part- and full-timers! More simply put: comparing FT and PT builders, while also reporting the full/all builder combined category, made more sense….especially once I’d already run many analyses on both “all” and part-time” builders.
  • Another challenge was functional. Cycling through the same sets of analyses for each grouping (All/FT/PT) made it difficult to find the relevant comparisons that most people would want (i.e. FT builder livelihood stats compared with all builders). Rather than toggle back and forth across blog posts for different groups, I wanted the comparisons to be immediately visible.
  • Finally, I was also figuring out some naming, organizing and aesthetic/layout conventions as I went. Little things about table structure, font sizes and such were all starting to bug me, especially as I changed them over time and had to look at earlier versions still sitting there on the blog!

Where do things stand now in light of all that? What is coming down the pike?

  • After a couple of weeks of plugging away at this behind the scenes, I have now restructured almost every table and figure you have seen on the blog thus far. These have all been reconfigured to actually show the stats for All/FT/PT builders side-by-side, or in ways that make it possible to see the direct comparison of these groups. I’ve also tried–in making these–to tighten up my formatting and naming conventions for consistency’s sake!
  • I now intend to go back and publish many of the same sets of analyses you’ve seen before (the handful of you that have actually been reading this blog, that is!) but using these revised tables and figures. So, you’ll see “demographics”, “output”, “business demographics” and so forth again….but this time they will compare across All/FT/PT.
  • Ultimately, the goal here is still to use this work as the draft for the free report that I will make available. That report will essentially be a unified version of these posts, put together as a pdf file. I’d like to get that off my plate soon, so that I can also work from this survey data and return to some more academic articles that will be informed by what I find in the survey data. Maybe then I will also get back on Outspoken Cyclist and some other podcasts (RIP “The Pull”) to talk about what I’m reporting here!

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