ECON 101: Statistics for Economics
Lab Assignment 1
Dates: October 4th, October 7th and October 8th
Due: October 11th, October 14th and October 15th
The overall aim of our lab section this term is to increase your proficiency in Microsoft Excel and data
analysis. By the end of the term, you should feel comfortable taking on any workplace assignments that
involves data analysis through Excel. The first official lab aims to teach you a few lessons:
Learn how to collect publicly accessible data.
Find the descriptive measures of the data.
Show the distribution of the data with a histogram.
Present the data in a format that is easy-to-read for a wide audience.
This week we will obtain data on the Violent and Property Crime rates in Riverside, as well as a city of
your choice. Data on crime rates can be found at FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting website at:
Here are the steps that your lab TA will go through with you.
1. Go to https://www.ucrdatatool.gov/, click on “Go to the table-building tool” at the bottom of
2. On the next page, you will see the possible geographical coverage areas that the FBI reports the
data on the left-hand side (All States and US Total, Agencies by State, Larger Agencies). Click on
3. On the next screen, you will see the different ways that you can download data (Single agency
reported crime, One Variable of Data or One year of data). Click on “Single agency reported
4. The next screen allows you to restrict which types of police departments you can look at. You
can click “All” and then next.
5. This final screen allows you to choose the police department you want to analyze, the type of
variables you want to obtain and the years you are interested in:
6. Scroll through the police departments/agencies (a.) and click on “Riverside Police Dept”. In (b.),
hold down Ctrl and click on “Violent crime rates” and “Property crime rates”. Both terms should
be highlighted. The years to include (c.) should go from 1985 to 2014, the maximum range. Click
7. The following screen will show the rates for Violent Crime and Property crime in Riverside
between 1985 and 2014. This is the “raw data”. Quickly get this into an Excel spreadsheet by
clicking “Spreadsheet of this table (.csv file)” at the top of the page:
A download should start and when you open up the file, Microsoft Excel will open up and the
same data on the webpage will be available in the Excel file.
8. Now that you have your data in Excel, you will be able to obtain a number of statistics. Create a
table that shows the mean, median, variance, standard deviation, skewness and the number of
years that the rate is above the average for both violent crime and property crime.
In creating the table, you will use the Excel functions: average, median, var.s, stdev.s and skew.
Create an additional column using the “if” function that separates years where crime is above
the mean. Find the covariance and correlation between violent crime and property crime.
9. Make sure your table is easy-to-read and informative. This will involve adding a title, merging
cells, drawing lines, etc. Copy-and-paste your table to a Microsoft Word document.
Do steps 10 through 13 on your own. Feel free to consult with your peers, but everyone should turn in
their own assignment.
10. Return to the screen where you can choose which agency you want to examine. Choose an
agency that you are interested in. The agency can be where you live, where you were born,
where you vacation or a place you are interested in learning about. Make sure that the agency is
a Police Department instead of a Sheriff’s Department.
11. Create a table with the mean, median, variance, standard deviation, skewness and the number
of years that the rate is above the average for both violent crime and property crime. Also
report the covariance and correlation between violent crime and property crime.
12. Combine the new table with the table that you created using the Riverside data and transfer it
to a Microsoft Word document.
13. In one paragraph, describe your tables and compare the statistics between the cities in your
Turn in your one-page document (table and paragraph) at the start of lab next week.
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