American Factfinder Overview

Overview of latest version of American Factfinder.

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American Factfinder Overview by Mind Map: American Factfinder Overview

1. Community Facts

1.1. New Feature

1.2. For single locations

1.2.1. Good if you're planning a move.

1.3. Displays only most current content

1.4. Can also be used as type of guided search

1.5. Look up Blacksburg, VA

1.5.1. What percentage of the population has finished high school? 1st person to answer in the session chat box gets bragging rights!

2. Address Search

2.1. Fastest path to small geographic units like blocks.

2.2. Excellent for helping users connect Census Bureau geographic concepts to colloquial geographic concepts.

2.3. Only displays most recent boundaries.

2.4. Look up 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC 20500

2.4.1. What's the block number for the White House? Enter in the chat box!

3. What We'll Cover

3.1. Briefly: Community Facts

3.2. Briefly: Address Search

3.3. Guided Search: population data

3.4. Advanced Search: economic data

3.5. New features are noted in each section

3.6. Browser and device details noted at the end

3.7. Emphasis is on using AFF quickly rather than thoroughly given slight majority of reference desk responses

4. What you said:

4.1. 55% have some experience and 32% rarely use AFF

4.1.1. New to AFF?

4.1.1.1. American Factfinder (AFF) is a tool that lets you view and download tables of statistics generated from the Census Bureau's main surveys of the population and the economy.

4.1.1.2. AFF works by giving you several different paths to follow depending on your need, your familiarity with Census Bureau statistics and your familiarity with AFF itself.

4.1.1.3. When you first open AFF all the tables in the database are available to you. Your task is to reduce that list to only those tables that have relevant statistics. You do so by specifying the parameters of your information need.

4.1.1.4. AFF contains statistical tables for the last two versions of the various datasets included. It's better suited for current information needs than historical. Recent revisions to AFF have been aimed at users looking for information about single places (Community Facts) and users who have some familiarity with the content, but less familiarity with AFF itself (Guided Search). The Advanced Search has also had an additional layer added to assist users who know exactly what statistics they need, but don't know AFF as well.

4.1.1.5. The one safe generalization to make for users who are brand new to AFF is that if you read the text on each screen, it will be helpful. This may seem like obvious advice, but it's really easy to skip the text in favor of taking action like using a search box or to be overwhelmed by the quantity of text on the screen. Taking the time to read what's on each screen can ultimately result in speedier use of AFF and results that make more sense. This is true whether one is at a busy reference desk or in an appointment with a user.

4.1.2. Expert User?

4.1.2.1. You may get more out of the Advanced Session. Contact Kirsten Clark: clark881 at umn dot edu

4.2. Your users mostly want to know about multiple locations at once

4.3. Your users are more interested in current information than historical

4.4. There's equal interest in population and economic data.

4.5. Slightly more of you will be using AFF at the reference desk.

4.6. You mostly use Firefox and Internet Explorer

5. Guided Search

5.1. New Feature

5.2. What Guided Search Looks Like

5.2.1. Select the first box for information about people

5.2.2. Select Employment

5.2.3. Select Occupation

5.2.4. Select Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin

5.2.5. This time, skip the race/ethnicity selections

5.2.6. Choose S2401 from the 2011 ACS 1-Year file

5.2.6.1. Which occupation pays women the most? Hint: it's near the top.

5.2.7. If you wanted to adjust your table, are the numbered steps clickable?

6. Advanced Search

6.1. What Advanced Search Looks Like

6.1.1. Search for garden stores

6.1.1.1. make sure your states are still selected; they should be

6.1.2. Does AFF do anything helpful?

6.1.3. Add 440220 "Nursery & Garden Centers" to your selections

6.1.3.1. How many tables do we have to choose from?

6.1.3.2. Let's limit to just Business Patterns

6.1.3.3. Select Topics on the left

6.1.3.4. Select Program

6.1.3.5. Select Business Patterns

6.1.3.6. Let's also limit to 2010

6.1.3.6.1. Who can tell me which left hand menu item we start with?

6.1.3.6.2. How many tables now?

6.1.4. Given that we have selected states, is there anything odd about the titles of the remaining tables?

6.1.4.1. Are the statistics in the first table what you hoped to see?

7. Browser / Device Issues

7.1. Bookmarking in Chrome is manual.

7.2. On iOS devices, Safari is better than Chrome; both mostly work

8. Older Data

8.1. AFF now rolls over datasets. For data no longer in AFF directly, there is the FTP site.

8.2. None of the user interface is retained. Whether this is an adequate replacement is an open question.

8.3. AFF offers an option to "include archived data" in search results.

8.3.1. I have no idea if this actually ever occurs. I've never generated search results where I could tell conclusively that I'd gotten archived data.

9. For more AFF, see the Advanced Session.