Student Contest

ICES VI is sponsoring a student contest focusing on the analysis/visualization of economic statistical data. The student contest will create interest and innovation in the establishment survey field by inspiring students and the faculty they work with to create interesting and challenging applications that test their technical skill and creativity.

The winner of the contest will receive a monetary award and have a recorded presentation of their work played during the conference.


Student Contest General Information

As the sixth in the series of international conferences on establishment statistics, ICES VI is designed to look at key issues and challenges pertaining to establishment statistics.

For this conference, we are introducing a student contest focusing on the analysis/visualization of economic statistical data. The winners will have their research presented at ICES VI.

An award of up to $1,500 (USD) will be presented to the contest winner.

Eligibility

  • Participants must be current students at the time of submission.
  • Students will perform their research independently or with a group of up to five students. However, awards will only be awarded to one author.
  • Students are to carry out this assignment autonomously. Contributions from faculty advisers, if any, should be made clear in the report, as well as their expertise.
  • A video presentation of their work recorded by the winner of the contest will be played during the conference.

Submission Deadline and Details

  • Submissions should include a video or graphic display, as well as a report summarizing the methods and results, limited to 6,000 words, excluding tables, figures, references, and appendices.
  • The report must be submitted in English, the official conference language.
  • Supporting materials (e.g., figures, tables, appendices) are limited to 10 pages.
  • Any software can be used, and programming code must be submitted in an appendix (for ease of submission, programming code may be submitted as one file separate from the report).
  • The report must be submitted by February 15, 2021.
  • The report (and programming code) must be sent to ices@amstat.org with the subject line “Student Contest: Data Analysis/Visualization.”

Winners will be notified on March 31, 2021. You may not submit the paper to any other 2021 student/young investigator award competition until this decision is made public. If you have questions concerning this contest, you can contact ices@amstat.org. Use the subject line “Student Contest: Inquiry.”

We encourage the contest winners to produce a paper based on the report that could be submitted to a publication from the ICES VI conference. It should be noted that submission does not guarantee publication, as the report will go through the normal review procedures.

Judging Submissions

The reports will be reviewed by a panel of international experts in establishment survey design and analysis chosen by the ICES VI Program Committee.

Student Contest – Data Analysis and Visualization

This contest challenges participants to answer a research question using appropriate analysis and visualizations with data from a large establishment survey. Students will write a report explaining the methods used and presenting the results with an emphasis on visualizations.

Survey Data: 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO)
The Survey of Business Owners (SBO) is conducted every five years by the US Census Bureau. It is the only regularly collected source of information about US businesses and business owners including gender, race, ethnicity, and veteran status. Read details about the SBO.

The 2007 SBO is a large survey with a complex sampling design that collects data from all 50 states. The full SBO data set contains more than 2 million records; for the purposes of this student contest, data from only four states (California, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Ohio) are provided, producing a data set with 391,093 records. In addition to using only a subset of states for analysis, only a subset of variables is provided.

To produce valid population-level estimates, the sample design and unequal probabilities of selection must be properly used in estimation procedures. Read general information about sampling and estimation methods.

The specific sample design and estimation procedures used in the 2007 SBO are described in the 2007 SBO User Guide.

Note that, as stated in the user guide, the data contains “rounded, noise-infused estimates of receipts, payroll, and employment” for confidentiality reasons and disclosure avoidance. No special treatment is needed for these “noisy” variables (i.e., treat them as if they were not noise-infused).

The data is available at the following link in CSV format:
https://ww2.amstat.org/meetings/ices/2020/studentcontest/track2sbo.csv

Description of variables and codes for categorical variables are in the Data Dictionary. Note that some variables have been modified for ease of use in the contest (specifically, some character variables have been modified to be numeric). Thus, the Data Dictionary provided should be used as the source of information (instead of referring to variable information at the end of the 2007 SBO User Guide).

Background and Research Question

A business is not the primary source of income for all business owners. “Running a side small business while working a full-time job is relatively common. Some people operate side businesses to supplement their incomes. Others simply keep their jobs for financial stability while trying to launch full-fledged companies.” https://smallbusinessbc.ca/article/how-run-your-business-while-working-a-job/

Logically, the hours dedicated to the business are likely to be smaller if the business is not the primary source of income than if it is. The number of hours all owners of a business combined dedicate to the business could vary across domains.

Research Question: How does the extent to which income is not the primary source of income for a business owner vary by owner’s sex, ethnicity, race, and veteran status and by business characteristics (e.g., size, sector, location)?

Using data from four states in the 2007 SBO, students should answer this question using appropriate analysis methods and creative data visualizations. The final product will be a report (see below for details) describing the methods and presenting results.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Do the data analyses and visualizations address/answer the research question?
  • Is the data analysis methodology appropriate (for the complex survey design), and is it explained clearly?
  • Is the data visualized in a creative way that provides insight into the research question?
  • Are the data visualizations explained and interpreted clearly? Are they appropriate given the data source (i.e., a complex sample survey), and are they effective at conveying information?
  • Are limitations of the analyses explained in view of limitations of the data source and challenges encountered?

Submission Instructions

  • Submissions should be a report summarizing the methods and results, limited to 6,000 words, excluding tables, figures, references, and appendices.
  • The report must be submitted in English, the official conference language.
  • Supporting materials (e.g., figures, tables, appendices) are limited to 10 pages.
  • The software used should be R or SAS, and programming code must be submitted in an appendix (for ease of submission, programming code may be submitted as one file separate from the report).
  • Reports must be submitted by February 15, 2021.
  • The report (and programming code) must be sent to ices@amstat.org with the subject line “Student Contest: Data Analysis/Visualization Track.”

Data Tips

  • Each business in the 2007 SBO can report up to four owners. Thus, each owner-level characteristic is described by a set of four variables. For example, ethnicity of the business owner(s) is in the variables {ETH1, ETH2, ETH3, ETH4} for the first through fourth owner.
  • Some of the data in the file comes from administrative records and is thus relatively complete. For example, total employment (number of employees), payroll, and receipts are nonmissing for all units. However, some business owner characteristics collected on the survey are incomplete (i.e., there is missing data). The focus of this contest is not on handling missing data, and thus sophisticated methods for handling any missing data are not required (though they can, of course, be used). However, as noted in the last judging criteria, limitations of the analyses due to missing data can and should be addressed in the report.

 

  • January 2, 2019
    Invited Session Proposal Submission Opens
  • June 13, 2019
    Invited Session Proposal Submission Closes
  • July 16, 2019
    Topic Contributed Session Proposal Submission Opens
  • August 15, 2019
    Topic Contributed Session Proposal Submission Closes
  • August 20, 2019
    Software Demonstration Proposal Submission Opens
  • October 16, 2019
    Contributed Abstract Submission Opens
  • December 3, 2019
    Contributed Abstract Submission Closes
  • December 12, 2019
    Software Demonstration Proposal Submission Closes
  • April 30, 2020
    Draft Manuscript Deadline
  • May 22, 2020
    Extended Draft Deadline
  • February 10, 2021
    Early Registration and Housing Opens
  • April 15, 2021
    Participant Registration Deadline
  • May 6, 2021
    Early Registration Deadline
  • May 7, 2021
    Regular Registration (increased fees apply)
  • May 24, 2021
    Housing Deadline, 5:00 p.m. ET
  • June 14, 2021 – June 17, 2021
    ICES VI at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, in New Orleans, LA