Taking These Online Classes Will Make Your Fund More Data-Savvy

In striving to seek and secure the best investments and services for their membership, public retirement system administrators and staff often look for demographic and economic data to highlight in various reports. 

From the executive director to the communications director, administrative staff work to achieve the objective of a retirement system as established by a board of trustees. Like most office jobs, part of those duties includes putting together internal and external reports and presentations, some of which might require gathering local, state, and national demographic and economic data. 

The U.S. Census Bureau provides a lot of statistical information. It is, after all, the principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for providing data on the American people and economy. Surveys it conducts on behalf of various federal and local government agencies cover topics such as employment, crime, health, consumer expenditures, housing, aging, and retirement. 

The Bureau's website provides access to data profiles viewed as statics across various topics. Site users add geographies, topics, or filters to get their needed data tables and maps.

Using the site might be confusing, at first, to some users. The Bureau has upcoming workshops to show users how to use its database to find demographic and economic data, including search methods, options for getting tables into Excel, mapping a table, and more.  

Participants are encouraged to ask questions, and there's no need to know anything about the database beforehand.

Basics of Finding Data on Data.census.gov

In this online workshop, you will learn how to use data.census.gov to find demographic and economic data, including ways to search, options for getting tables into Excel, and mapping tables. 

There will be time for questions throughout the workshop, and participation is encouraged. No prior database knowledge is necessary.

The next workshop dates are from Noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, and from 9 a.m. to Noon on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Registration is required to attend these workshops. Attendance is limited to 50 participants per session. There is no charge to register.


Making the Most of Mapping in Data.census.gov

Discover how to map data found in tables on data.census.gov in this participatory workshop. 

Explore how mapping capabilities can determine whether geographies have changed over time. Then you'll see TIGERweb, another mapping tool. 

If you can, use two monitors. There will be time for questions. 

Registration is required, and attendance is limited to 50 participants per session; however, the Bureau offers the workshop on several dates throughout October. There is no fee to attend the workshop. 


Advanced Usage of Data.census.gov 

This online participatory class walks you through more advanced methods of using the Bureau's database to locate demographic and economic data, including detailed race, ethnicity, and ancestry data, finding data for collections of geographies, using geographic components (e.g., urban and rural), and more.

Time is allotted throughout the training for questions, and participation is strongly encouraged. The Bureau asks that participants have a solid background in using data.census.gov or have completed the Basics of Finding Data Using data.census.gov workshop, as this workshop will not cover the basics of using the site.

To ensure that the Bureau can maximize the number of attendees, it asks that participants only register for a single session. Contact the Bureau at [email protected] if you need to register for more than one session of the same workshop.

Registration is required to attend the workshop, which is only offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. Attendance is limited to 50 participants. There is no fee to register for the online workshop.


Want to Get Started With Your Search? Check Out This Recording!

About the Author: Allen Jones is director of communications and event marketing for TEXPERS. 


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