Skip to content

FAQ

Where does the name (LA)DAT come from?

The name originated as a play on words between “LA Tech” and “data”. The over-arching purpose of the site is to associate LA Tech and the College of Business with data science. LA Tech is the predominant educational institution in Northern LA. As such, it should be among the first partners for business and policy decisions in the area. It also doesn’t hurt that (LA)DAT is slang for “like that”.

Where do you find the data used on this site?

Most of the data used on this site is publicly available from two sources. One source is the Federal Reserve Economic Database hosted and maintained be the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. The second source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has a deep set of MSA level and industry level data open to the public. The benefit of this site is that we pull our sources together so that you the reader don’t need to hunt through these sources to find this data.

How do you determine what data to forecast?

This is largely a judgment call. We use the data that we think is interesting and carries the widest appeal. Is there something we are missing that you would like to see? Contact us, and let us know.

Is there a particular model that you use to forecast with?

Yes and no. The forecasts described here employ a technique call Bayesian model averaging. There are multiple forecasts that are aggregated together in order to account for the joint probability that the individual models are not properly specified. Depending upon the data set, there are sometimes in excess of 130 different models estimated in order to construct the forecast.

How can I help with this project?

There are a couple of things you can do.

  • First, spread the word about this project to those that you think can use it. This seems small, but in actuality it is the most important.

  • Second, contact us if there is something you think that is missing on the site, or if you have an idea on how to make things better, we want to hear from you.

What programming language do you use for the forecasting?

Everything on this website (including the website itself) is coded in the R programming language. R is an object-oriented flexible platform used for statistical analysis. You can learn more about R here.

How often do you update the forecasts?

As often as we can. Our goal is for there to be no gaps in between forecast horizons (esentially, no time periods where there is not an available forecast). If we miss something though, let us know.