That you should be required to use a tutorial to figure it out demonstrates
that this is a really dreadful program. I suspect that none of us needed
tutorials for the old one, which worked pretty well. Then there is the
matter of the output (XL), which is unsortable, left justified (did anyone
on the vendor selection committee know that numbers are routinely right
justified?), numbers that are in non-number format so they cannot be added
up. This is the stuff of comedy routines.
Of course, anyone familiar with XL can easily get around all of these
problems, but it is a terrible waste of time, since the adjustments that
make it possible to calculate and to add have to be made on every
spreadsheet. Then there is the matter of FIPs codes, which should be
routinely provided with the spreadsheets, or at least there should be an
option to include it.
I have worked with data from national statistics bureaus around the world
and never encountered anything remotely as unusable and inefficient. Brings
back memories of New Coke, which Coca Cola wisely withdrew.... can only hope
that the Census Bureau will follow their lead and start over.
On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 1:24 PM, Ed Christopher <edc(a)berwyned.com> wrote:
I must admit that every time I sit down and try to
bolster my skills with
the new FactFinder I find myself easily getting distracted and never
getting anything accomplished. However, someday I hope to make it through
all the tutorials and become as proficient with the new FactFinder as I am
with the legacy version.
Although it is not quite FactFinder, some colleagues turned me on to an
interactive map done by the NY Times where you can begin to pull numbers
from the 2010 Census. In less than 3 minutes and without going through
any tutorials I was able to view the tract data for my home tract. Here
is the link.
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