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Friday, September 12, 2008

Damn The Data - Full Speed Ahead.

I finally got into heavy data grinding mode for a conference submission that's due on Monday. I should be done with my part of the work and will have tables to show today by 5. My coauthor is working on another paper with a deadline of tomorrow, so he won't even look at this stuff until Friday afternoon at the earliest. The deadline is not until until Monday, so we have time.

To do my part, I had to update the data set to reflect the latest year or so of data. I thought "this should be easy." That thought was four days and about 30 hours of programming ago. It turns out that the final data set resulted from three intermediate steps, which also required data sets to be updated.

The end result was that I ended up running programs last night at 12:00 in between watching Mixed Martial arts on TV. All in all it's not bad -- I'm a big fan since I did a bit of competitive judo college (pretty low level stuff, and I wasn't that good) and took taekwondo in high school.

But I'd have been happy to Tivo it for a reasonable hour if I wasn't already up dealing with data issues.

I once had a fellow grad school student who said that "empirical research is easy." If we ever cross paths again (he went into industry) I'm gonna go upside his head with a full hard copy of the SAS manuals.

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