Posts Tagged ‘data’
The World Bank has opened access to a flagship dataset that was mostly closed. Until recently, only a fraction of the thousand-plus data series that comprise the World Development Indicators (WDI) were available to non-paying customers in advanced economies. As of April 10, 2010, the World Bank has opened access to the complete dataset.
How much information should the researcher keep about each site? Each interview? The answer, of course, is “all of it.” This can be an enormously time-consuming task, depending on the richness of the information the interviewer needs to collect about the site, the subject, and the interview instrument to be used.
Relational databases are purpose built for this sort of task. In a relational database, the user enters all the relevant information about each entity once, and only once. Whenever it is needed in the future, the database query looks up all the relevant bits of information from as many places as necessary for the task at hand. Many vendors are out there (Access, Filemaker, SAS, Oracle), but some of them are free and open source (MySQL, SugarCRM) and do not require years of study to become competent (OpenOffice).
To reiterate, you don’t need any money, and you don’t need a computer science degree to track your interviews in a relational database, but you can save yourself a ton of time.