data center

Data Analytics Boot Camp

Presented by China Data Lab

Social science research often requires the use of a large quantity of data. Owing to the development of the Internet and social media in recent years, many novel datasets have become available, and they offer researchers new opportunities for obtaining micro-level evidence.

China Data Lab will host a one-day boot camp to help future social scientists develop methods and techniques to utilize the emerging big social data sources.

In this boot camp, you will put the skills, tools, and techniques you are taught to work. You will receive hands-on instruction on how to get data online, carry out panel data analysis and text analysis, and create interactive visualizations. You will leave the boot camp with practical knowledge and ideas for future research.

NOTE: Due to limited space, priority will be given to students at UC San Diego and participating institutions. Final participants will be selected from the pool of registrants after a qualification process that determines the registrant’s current level of skills in data analysis.

Panel Data Analysis

Yiqing XU, Assistant Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego

Panel data are commonly used in the social sciences to study the causal effects of policy interventions on certain outcomes. Yet the assumptions under which popular panel data methods—such as two-way fixed effect models—can perform properly are often unsatisfied. We will discuss an emerging literature on causal inference with panel data and focus on a special setting of a single, dichotomous treatment variable. We will review a variety of methods, including difference-in-differences, the synthetic control method, latent factors models, as well as related matching and reweighing approaches, and provide recommendations for applied researchers.

Text Analytics

Margaret ROBERTS, Associate Professor of Political Science, UC San Diego

Text analytics are expanding the types of data that social scientists can use to discover and measure new concepts, make predictions, and establish causality. This section will provide an overview of these tools, with an emphasis on how they can be applied to the Chinese language.

Text analytics are expanding the types of data that social scientists can used to discover and measure new concepts, make predictions, and establish causality. This section will provide an overview of these tools, with an emphasis on how they can be applied to the Chinese language.

Web Scraping Techniques

Leo Y. YANG, PhD Student of Political Science, UC San Diego

As the data get bigger, the difficulty of collecting them has also increased. Instead of manually gathering data, it is essential for social scientists to command automated tools to collect data with higher precision, faster speed, and better reliability. In this section, the instructor will introduce the basic web scraping techniques including the HTTP mechanism, some useful crawling frameworks in R and Python, and illustrate them with several real-world cases. This section presumes very basic knowledge in computer programming.

Social Data Visualization and Toolbox Introduction

Yang (Young) YANG, Postdoctoral Fellow, 21st Century China Center, UC San Diego

A picture is worth a thousand words. How to utilize the emerging tools to build straightforward, inspiring, interactive visuals is the first step as well as the last step of your data-related research. This section will introduce techniques to visualize different data sets within clicks, build your own interactive, customized visuals using various software like D3.js and Shiny and Tableau.

Agenda

Time Topic Instructor
9:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m. Basic Introduction
5 minute break
9:20 a.m.–10:50 a.m. Panel Data Analysis Yiqing XU
10 minute break
11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Web Scraping Techniques Leo YANG
Lunch will be served
1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Social Data Visualization Young YANG
10 minute break
3:10 p.m.–4:40 p.m. Text Analytics Margaret ROBERTS

Host

China Data Lab

Date

January 11, 2019

Location

The Village 15B (15th Floor)
UC San Diego
2202 Scholars Dr North
La Jolla, CA 92093

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