Module B4: Basic Data Analysis Techniques

4. Tips and Exercises


4.1    Tips: Do and Don’ti)   Do… first, use the ‘codebook’ procedure to be acquaintance with the household
survey data set if complete documentation is unavailable;Don’t… waste time searching/requesting actual coding scheme or by running
frequency tables for all variables.ii)  

Do… study the survey questionnaire and ‘codebook’ to select the variables of
interest, and make new data sets or variable sets for further analyses;

Don’t… try selecting variables on a ‘trial and error’ basis without studying proper
survey documentation or codebook while analyzing a newly available
data set.

iii)   Do… make acquaintance with OLAP Cubes procedure; run several frequency
and crosstab tables and practice using the OLAP Cubes;

Don’t… display several variables in multiple layers in a table, since it will be difficult to get the essence of the statistics displayed, or you can easily
misinterpret.

iv)   Do… practice yourself to become an expert on data preparation and
management techniques such as computing new variables, selecting cases,
creating new variable sets, data validation, and etc.;

Don’t… waste time editing/correcting secondary household survey data set
(obtained from other sources: departments, agencies or organizations)

v)   Do… start analysis by running ‘frequencies’ to every variable except for the
continuous (scale) variables with several different items. For the
continuous (scale) variables use the ‘Descriptive’ procedure to explore
their basic structure;

Don’t… go into in-depth analyses or calculation of ratio statistics before
understanding the variables well.

vi)   Do… crosstab between variables with intrinsic linkages and export the outputs to
a spreadsheet software for better presentation, and create and present
graphs and charts as appropriate in SPSS or Excel.

Don’t… create oversized crosstab tables with multiple layers (use ‘pivot’ technique
to simplify the crosstab tables).

vii)   Do… run the crosstab tables (or frequency tables) to get the correct baseline data
and make further calculations and analyses in spreadsheet software;

Don’t… try to run (and use the outputs of) ‘ratio statistics’ procedure if you are not
sure that the process is correct.

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4.2    Self-evaluation

  • Do you know when to use codebook procedure in SPSS (PASW) statistics?
    Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
  • Do you understand why weighting is needed in survey data analyses?
    Very well / Somewhat well / Not so much / Almost None
  • Are you confident that you can run the following procedures in an active data set?
    • Codebook:
      Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
    • OLAP Cubes:
      Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
    • Frequencies:
      Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
    • Crosstabs:
      Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
    • Ratio Statistics:
      Confident / Somewhat confident / Not so much / Not at all
  • Do you think you can demonstrate to your colleague on how to run:
    • Simple frequency tables:
      Definitely / Could be / Not so sure / Not at all
    • Frequency tables with appropriate charts:
      Definitely / Could be / Not so sure / Not at all
    • Simple crosstab tables:
      Definitely / Could be / Not so sure / Not at all
    • Crosstab tables with layers:
      Definitely / Could be / Not so sure / Not at all
    • Simple OLAP Cubes:
      Definitely / Could be / Not so sure / Not at all
    • Pivoting crosstab tables:
      Definitely / Could be / Not so sure / Not at all

 

4.3    Hands-on Exercises

1)    Import the attached ‘data1(tab).dat’ and define all variables appropriately, and run the codebook procedure to check whether you have defined the data set effectively.

2)    From the data set obtained from Exercise 1 above, recode all string variables, and run the codebook procedure to check whether you have recoded and defined the data set properly.

3)    Begin data analysis with selected procedures of your choice to derive education indicators that are useful for EFA monitoring.

4)    Get a recent household survey data set of your country, then note down the step-by-step procedure of how to make use of it in education planning, especially for EFA monitoring.

5)    Follow the steps defined in the previous question and get the ‘data, information and indicators’ that you have defined.

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