Module B2: Introduction to Data Analysis Software

5. Tips and Exercises

5.1     Tips: Do and Don’t

i)   Do…            check whether any previous version of SPSS (PASW) Statistics or SPSS for Windows or SPSS/PC+ has already been installed in the computer.

Don’t…       install any version of SPSS Statistics without checking the existence of any working SPSS programme.

ii)   Do…            check whether any installed SPSS (PASW) Statistics is a licensed version.

Don’t…       uninstall any licensed version of SPSS (PASW) Statistics before ensuring the transferability of legitimacy to new software.

iii)   Do…            uninstall existing SPSS (PASW) Statistics or SPSS for Windows or SPSS/PC+ if the new software has a valid license or if you will use the software for the 14 or 21 day evaluation period.

Don’t…       install new version of SPSS (PASW) Statistics before completing the un-installation process.

iv)   Do…            study and make yourself expert of SPSS (PASW) Statistics components and survey files including data, questionnaire and codebook before conducting any analysis.

Don’t…       change anything in the data set! And also do not start analysis with a new data set before understanding the questionnaire and codebook of the survey.

v)   Do…            familiarise yourself with data file, especially if it is in other format than SPSS. For text data files, review on a text editor such as Microsoft Word, notepad  etc. Check whether the first line contains variable names and the separation character (blank, comma, tab) that may have been used.

Don’t…       save the original data file after reviewing in a text viewer to avoid altering format and edited characters.

 

5.2     Self-evaluation

  • Are you able to explain the background of some popular statistical analysis software packages to your colleagues?

    Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None

  • Do you understand why SPSS (PASW) is frequently chosen as a statistical software for assisting EFA monitoring?  Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
  • Are you able to install an evaluation version of SPSS (PASW) Statistics without any assistance?

    Certainly / Somewhat certain / Not so much / Not at all

  • Can you explain the following basic components of SPSS:
    • Output Viewers           Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
    • Pivot Tables                 Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
    • Charts                            Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
    • Export Outputs             Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
    • Online Help                  Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
  • Are you confident that you can import data from the following sources to SPSS:
    • Microsoft Excel            Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
    • Delimited text files    Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
    • Fixed width text files Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
    • Access databases       Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all

 

5.3     Questions and Hands-on Exercises

i)  Please give three reasons why it is appropriate to use SPSS Statistics to analyse census and household survey data for EFA monitoring.

ii)  What are the key components of SPSS Statistics?

iii)  Open “B2_a.txt” file in any text editor and record (a) how many variables in this file, and (b) which separation character has been used on a blank sheet.

iv)  Import “B2_a.txt” file to SPSS data editor and review characteristics of new data set.

v)  Connect to the internet and

(a)   find available household survey data files for your country.

(b)  download the most recent survey data file.

(c)   find and review the questionnaire and codebook for that survey.

(d)  note down the variables that will be useful for calculating education indicators, especially for EFA monitoring.

(e)   Prepare to import data, if it is needed.

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