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Jeff Mitchell Visits the Evaluation Lab

Evaluation Lab News

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 - 12:00am

Jeff Mitchell visited the Evaluation Lab on February 15th to teach the fellows about pivot tables in Excel. Dr. Mitchell has a PhD is economic development and directs the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at UNM.

Dr. Mitchell started off by providing a data set of Gross Receipts Tax for the State of New Mexico and explained the data is based on RP-80 forms submitted by businesses in the State. This comes with a few limitations, for instance businesses self-identify their industry code, a series of numbers meant to show precisely what type of business is operating, and errors in transcribing data mean that some amount of data “cleaning” is needed before it can be used. Dr. Mitchell provided a cleaned data set for the fellows to practice with.

Pivot tables are an excellent way to present and manipulate data in Excel. By selecting different measures and applying them to the columns and rows of the table, its possible to present much more in-depth information in a single table and to create that table relatively rapidly. This is a great tool for the Evaluation Lab members as they prepare to analyze and present the data from their evaluation projects.