Applied Survey Data Analysis: An Overview
Scientific surveys designed to measure labor force participation and employment, earnings and expenditures, health and healthcare, commodity stocks and flows, business and agricultural production, environmental conditions, and many other topics are critically important to social scientists, health professionals, policy makers and administrators, and thus to society itself. Today's survey data analysts approach a problem armed with substantial background in the theory of survey statistics, a literature filled with empirical results and high-quality software tools for the task at hand. During the period 1950–1990, analytical treatments of survey data expanded as new developments in statistical theory and methods were introduced, empirically tested, and refined. The appearance of microcomputers in the mid-1980s was quickly followed by a transition to personal computer versions of the major statistical software (BMDP, SAS, SPSS) as well as the advent of new statistical analysis software platforms.