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When registering an datasource account, I saw the response as below

"Will your research present data individually or in aggregate?

I am wondering what does "data individually or in aggregate" here mean to answer them.

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    $\begingroup$ I’m voting to close this question because it is an English language question, and it is not specifically about economics. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Aug 2 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Giskard I would not be so hasty here this is actually econometrics/statistics question, and econometrics is on topic. The English dictionary definition of aggregation can be bit vague depending on what dictionary you look into. Arguably it’s not very good question and I wonder who upvoted it but i think it’s still within the scope. $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 2 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ @1muflon1 If this is about statistics then perhaps you should revisit all those closed questions were people were asking random stuff about the economy. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Aug 2 at 21:06
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    $\begingroup$ It relates to data the same way everyday questions about money relate to economics. This is an English language question. That is fine, there are also words that I do not know, but this is not the SE for it. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Aug 2 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Economics:SE. Thank you for your question; please consider revising it to be more in line with our community expectations. Like many other stacks, we expect questions to provide evidence of prior research. That helps us to understand the question, and avoids our repeating work you've already done. Our help center, and other stacks provide additional resources to assist with revisions. $\endgroup$
    – csilvia
    Aug 2 at 22:54
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Data aggregation is a process where you express data in some summary form.

For example, if you have data on output of 10 firms for 30 years 1970-2000, and you calculate mean output for every single year and turn the panel data into time series, you are engaging in data aggregation. If you would plot the single time series for average output per year you are presenting aggregate data.

If you would keep it as panel data, you would be reporting them individually.

Also, note aggregation does not simply means turning panel data into time series. If you would have employee level data on output of all employees for those 10 firms, then just by calculating output of the firm you would already be aggregating the data. Aggregation is again some process that expresses the data in summary form (e.g. average, sum, median etc.).

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  • $\begingroup$ so, do you mean that if we have the individual data, we can calculate aggregation data but when we have aggregation data, we are less likely to convert to individual data ? $\endgroup$
    – Louise
    Aug 2 at 20:31
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    $\begingroup$ @BeautifulMindset I am sorry but I don’t understand the question. $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 2 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ sorry for this confusion. I mean, if we have individual data, we can easily convert to aggregation data (by using sum, mean.. function). But if we have aggregation data, we cannot convert it back to the individual data? For example, if we have data about output of 30 companies in each year (individual), we can convert to aggregation data (time-series data, for example mean, median, sum...). But if we have the time-series data as above, we cannot convert back to the data of each companies in each year. It is my understanding from your explanation. Is it correct then? $\endgroup$
    – Louise
    Aug 2 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ @NoviceMindset it might sometimes be possible to disaggregate data but it is definitely difficult. For example, if you know sum of income of 5 people is 500 and if you are given extra info that all people have the same income you can disaggregate the data and easily calculate that every person has 100 income. So it is not impossible but difficult and requires extra information. $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 2 at 20:57

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