For the second consecutive year, I was unable to get away this holiday season. So, instead of the zaniness of Duval Street in Key West, I had to content myself with discovering some of Chicagoland’s great BYOB restaurants, watching the NFL and college sports on TV, and playing on my trusty computer.

The tech challenge I gave myself this year was finding/assembling a decent-sized data set and putting it through some data management and statistical paces. Fortunately, it didn’t take me long to latch on to the U.S. Census, American Community Survey, 2006-2010, 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS), available in CSV and SAS file formats. I downloaded both 2 GB compressed files and started my data journey.

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