Principles for Dealing with Large Programs and Large Data Files in Policy Studies

by R. Ylmaz Arguden

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This paper discusses some practical principles that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of quantitative analyses employing large datasets. The paper is addressed to knowledgeable analysts who wish to approach large datasets systematically. The author suggests the analyst understand the contents of the datasets, know the problem and the theoretical models to be used, and invest time in carefully designing the computer program. These principles were of significant value in the author's work on the retirement policy analysis model that is part of the Air Force Enlisted Force Management System.

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