Dexter Quick Start Video

A Companion to the Dexter Quick Start Guide

This tutorial consists of a collection of video modules where we cover more or less the same material that you can see in the Dexter quick start guide.


This is a brief introduction and overview to the MCDC's Data Archive system, showing how the user can navigate through the data files using Uexplore and arriving at the Dexter query form.

Top of Page and Section I

This module deals with the links and descriptive items at the top of the page. It finishes up with a description of Section I of the form where the user specifies the desired output format(s).

Section II: Selecting Rows

Section II is where we spend our most time, building a series of relatively simple filters based on geographic codes primarily.

Section III: Selecting Columns

We have several examples here. They vary in complexity according to the complexity of the datasets being accessed.

Example 1: Dataset With Small Number of Variables

We access a small dataset in our georef collection. We generate a report with all available data and then refine it by selecting just the ones we really want to see.

Example 2: Dataset With a Large Number of Variables

We access a typical dataset in our American Community Survey standard profile data collection. We generate an extract with variables related to a specific topic (poverty) making use of the ability to specify a variable filter to shorten the numeric variables select list.

Example 3: Dataset That Has Tables to Choose Rather Than Variables

Some of our datasets are what the Census Bureau refers to as summary files, which are organized into tables. These include the ACS base tables datasets and the various decennial census summary files. In order for a dataset to be accessible at the table level rather than by variable some special metadata files need to be created and the Dexter software tweaked so that it recognizes a table-based set. In this example we shall be accessing one of the datasets from the 2000 Census, summary file 3 collection. We include a quick visit to the relevant Varlabs data dictionary files that can brose to see what kind of tabular data are available.