By Kari Williams
If you are an avid IPUMS user who reads every email update, you have probably noticed that we pepper you with requests to complete our annual user survey. Perhaps you have asked yourself, “why bother?” or assumed we don’t really want YOUR feedback–that the survey is meant for a different type of IPUMS data user. We conduct an annual survey of data users for three reasons: 1) we value your input, 2) we want to invest in areas that benefit users, and 3) we reference your feedback when reporting to funders on current work and in applying for support to expand IPUMS. Let me assure you, we want to hear from YOU and we hope you take a few minutes to complete the survey.
Feedback is an important part of the IPUMS lifecycle. Our mission is to democratize access to the world’s social and economic data; data users are central to the success of this mission. We can learn a lot from registration numbers for each IPUMS data collection, the number and timing of online analysis or custom data extract requests, #poweredbyIPUMS publications, or questions and comments submitted to our User Support team. However, none of these is a substitute for directly asking users what they like most about IPUMS and what we can do better.