The makings of a deliciously juicy final report seem tantalizingly close. But to get there, a fair amount of unglamorous brute-force work is underway in the kitchen. Wielding the finicky but razor-sharp blades of STATA in lieu of a sausage grinder, the survey analysts are trying to bring out the essential flavors hidden in the nearly 350 ingredients collected, while attempting to reacquaint themselves with such highly intuitive command prompts as “. tab var1 var2, chi2″ (and also muttering under their breath about the sous-chef who collected a few 4-digit zip codes).
Meanwhile, the case study squad has translated our shopping list into French, Spanish, Portugese, Italian, German, Norwegian, and Mandarin, and has begun the hunt for willing customers. The first round of email solicitations have launched, and some useful information has already been received. But to make this sausage into a meal, we need lots more meat. So we are hitting the phones, calling in favors, and crossing fingers.