Wednesday, March 19, 2014

IPEDS Revisited

File under "how to break every Tableau rule in the book and thus create a poorly performing dashboard". Armed with a 70,000 row dataset from nces.ed.gov (specifically, the IPEDS longitudinal data set) I used parameters to allow the end user to select their desired metrics for correlation. I also have way too many filters on the filter shelf. The basic problem is that NCES has hundreds of metrics, all poorly named, all arcane, all requiring an excel file to look up their data definition. Many of them are ragged, meaning not all schools reported in all years. A brief scan of the metrics also shows me that definitions of metrics themselves change over the years.

I'm curious as to how other might solve this problem. I considered reshaping the 70k rows but with the number of metrics, it would end up in the tens of millions. Further, I would have a data model that is "too reshaped" or "too tall and narrow" for correlations.

If you are familiar with the common data set around IPEDS, you will be comfy using this dashboard. If you are not familiar with it... good luck! There's also a second tab with "additional filters" to refine your IPEDS criteria.

2 comments:

Allan Walker said...

Hi Alan,

You could maybe try blending INSTNAME against INSTNM from this file: http://community.tableausoftware.com/docs/DOC-5254

Best Regards,

Allan

northwestcoder said...

That is excellent! I think I will do that, in fact!