This site uses cookies

Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us to improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information please check our Cookie notice

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality. This website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Cookies that measure website use

If you provide permission, we will use Google Analytics to measure how you use the website so we can improve it based on our understanding of user needs. Google Analytics sets cookies that store anonymised information about how you got to the site, the pages you visit, how long you spend on each page and what you click on while you’re visiting the site.

Introduction to Quantitative Time Diary Analysis

10 Oct 2023 - 17 Oct 2023 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Data skills

This event is now fully booked. If you would like to be added to the waiting list please email the UK Data Service Events Team.

This free online short course aims to introduce participants to time diary data analysis, a multidisciplinary field which has made a sustained contribution to social science over the last 50 years. It is targeted at academics, doctoral students, post-doctoral as well as public and private sector researchers interested in studying how people spend their time. The course will consist of a mixture of presentations and hands-on practical sessions using R. Exercises will rely on data from the Multinational Time Use Study. Participants willing to discuss their research ideas will be offered the space to do so.

This course is organised by the UK Data Service with the support of the Centre for Time Use Research (University College London).

The course requires basic to intermediate knowledge of statistics and a basic experience of statistical programming. Familiarity with R is desirable but not essential.

Topics covered:

  • historical outline of time-diaries and time use research
  • nomenclatures of activities, survey designs & time diary dataset structure
  • deriving duration of and participation in activities from datasets in long and wide formats
  • multivariate analysis of aggregate time diary data
  • weekly work schedules and working time
  • weighting and accounting for clustering of time diary data

Presenter: Pierre Walthery

Event Outline

The course will consist of two afternoons which can be taken either as a whole or separately. Participants are nonetheless encouraged to attend both days. Each afternoon will consist of 2-3 online sessions, with presentations followed by computer demonstration and Q&A. Participants are invited to follow and replicate on their computer the code demonstrated during the session.

Provisional Programme

Tuesday 10 October 2023: Introduction to time diary data analysis

Session 1
14.00 Origins and milestones of time diary analysis; structure and design of time diary surveys
14.45 Questions and answers

Session 2
15.00 Structure and design of time diary surveys (continued); estimating duration and participation: day- and person-level aggregate statistics
15.45 Q&A

Session 3
16.00 Estimating duration and participation (continued); tempograms
16.30 Q&A; discussion of participant's research ideas and interests

Tuesday 17 October 2023: Working with time diary data

Session 1
14.00 Multivariate analysis of time-diary data: modelling duration and participation
14.45 Q&A

Session 2
15.00 Special topics: work schedule; weighting; robust estimates
15.45 Q&A

Session 3
16.00 Estimating duration and participation (continued); Q&A; discussion of participants research ideas and interests

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • identify significant milestones and contributions to time diary research
  • identify the main characteristics of time diaries, time diary surveys, and datasets
  • derive estimates from time diary data and use them in their own analysis

Participants will receive written slides and syntax files electronically after the course.

Participants are advised to use a laptop with the latest version of the R and RStudio software and the dplyr and ggplot2 packages installed.

Recordings of UK Data Service events are made available on our YouTube channel and, together with the slides, on our past events pages soon after the event has taken place.