Evaluating Data/ Data Set

Kelly McGuire writes about how to evaluate new data sources. She shows how to do this through a business oriented analysis. She gives a series of questions to ask yourself when tackling new data sources. The first is what is the data? This helps you identify and understand it more. The next question is How is the data collected? This will help you determine how reliable the information is. The last question is How often is the data updated and how? This helps you see if the data is still appropriate and correct to use. She says two things to watch out for are multicollinearity and overfitting.

The University of Saskatchewan produces a website where you can learn about evaluating sources. It helps you distinguish between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. It also touches the topic of scholarly versus popular sources. It is a good resource to reference for evaluation of sources.

Source: International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications

Who made/published it: United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service

How was it collected: It does not specify it just says information is collected from the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications

How old is it? > Why is it old?: IT spans from 2000-2016, so it is pretty updated with information. Last updated 7/14/2016

What’s the format? (file format, columns, and rows): It is an excel spread sheet with the years and states and GM crops listed showing how much each state planted

What’s the type? (time series or something else like geographical?): I would say this is a time series because it goes from 2000 to 2016

How would you need to transform the data to make it useful? I could make a graph and show which states planted the most GM crops and in what year, and see if there were any good or bad economic fluctuations with the sale of GM crops.


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