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Questions to think about
If you could imagine the smallest unit you'd like to analyze, would it be individual people, households, firms, or something else? What is it that you hope to draw conclusions about?
What should the data tell you about these people or other units? How would you measure that, and what kind of categories would you create. These are the variables you need.
Do you need data from a particular historical period? Do you need a snapshot (i.e. cross-sectional data) or changes over time (i.e. a time series)? Is the series yearly, weekly, once a decade?
Do you need to know about a particular place--a city, county, state, or country? Within that place, are there smaller areas you would like to compare, e.g. neighborhoods within a city?
Why would someone record data on this subject? If you know who would be interested, then you can infer where you might find it. For example, the Centers for Disease Control is interested in the spread of diseases, so they might be a source for health data.
Strategies for Finding Data
Qualtrics is an online service for creating and administering surveys. The School of Arts and Sciences has a site license for Qualtrics. SAS faculty, students and staff as well as students enrolled in SAS courses are eligible to use Qualtrics.
If you would like to sign up to use Qualtrics, please go to http://sasupenn.qualtrics.com to signup for an account. Please use your Penn email address (that includes "upenn.edu"). This will create a Qualtrics trial account. SAS faculty staff or students can request a free upgrade to full Qualtrics functionality by sending a request to email@example.com . Include your name and full SAS email address in the request. Upgrading your account will allow you unlimited surveys and results and the ability