Aspects of quantitative data analysis

As it is possible to observe, thanks to all the publications that we offer to guide the process of elaboration of the thesis, the treatment of the data goes through several processes. First, they must be collected, encoded and passed on to a database or data matrix before being analyzed. If you have already completed all of these preliminary stages, then you are ready to begin the quantitative analysis of your thesis.

Nowadays computers offer very useful and advanced programs for the statistical analysis of numbers. For this reason, the manual counting of the data is very infrequent, since with the mathematical programs the amount of work, the time and the possibility of error are reduced considerably. One of the most popular is Excel, with which we can perform, among other things, mathematical operations, create formulas and graph percentages very easily. It is recommended that programs with similar functions be used for the quantitative study.

To study the data you must carry out the following actions:

  • Select the statistical program that works best for you and can be used with ease.
  • Explore the data according to the variables and then visualize them.
  • Prepare the tables and graphs that are relevant.
  • Relate the hypotheses of your research with the data obtained.

THE RESEARCHER AND THE PROGRAM

Although it is the computer program that will be responsible for the counting of the data and the tabulation and graphics of the same, it is the responsibility of the researcher to establish the operating parameters of the program that he uses for his research.

To analyze it is necessary to define the operations that are going to be needed and it is here when certain statistical notions must be handled. However, we do not need to be a teacher of mathematics. Before starting, it is best to review the operating instructions of the program to be used. Many of them bring tutorials and detailed explanations so that the most inexperienced can learn.

The base or data matrix must be distributed neatly in rows and columns, each cell must contain a single data in relation to some of the variables of the methodology of the thesis. It is very important to verify that there are no typing errors in the database because the results can be negatively affected.

Currently there are several programs, in addition to Excel, for statistical analysis. These options are paid, so you must evaluate the costs for your thesis. You commented two of the most important so that you have all your alternatives in mind.

THE SPSS

It is a statistical package for the Social Sciences of the University of Chicago, in the United States. It is offered in versions in English, Spanish and other languages. It has a website where they report their most recent updates and allow the free download of a limited-time version of the program.

MINITAB

It is a paid program, but with a considerably lower cost compared to other similar tools. As in the previous case, a free demo for a limited time is offered on its website. It includes several commands to make the definition of variables and their visualization.

You may wonder what is the difference of these with Excel, well the advantage of these paid programs is that they are more complete tools for analyzing statistics and are much more useful for processing data at more complex levels. For example, with these packages you can compare means, carry out multivariate analysis and study experimental designs. As you can see, everything comes down to what we need to do with our thesis and how complex the data we are going to study is.


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