Home > Research > Starting the new year off with… data entry

Starting the new year off with… data entry

Another semester come and gone. While this puts me closer to graduating (YES!) it means my thesis is due in three months (EK!). While this semester won’t be as busy as my last, I will have other things to worry about. (What am I going to do after I graduate? Will my GPA be high enough? What advanced will I make in my knowledge transfer research project? Yikes, yikes, yikes.)

The semester has started off well, and I managed to enter the data from the 96 surveys I collected as part of my thesis research over the weekend. Now comes the next part: figuring out what it means.

The hardest part about the data entry, after figuring out how I wanted to lay it out in Excel, was interpreting some of the responses. If you ask a “yes or no” question, and the participant fills in 4/5 as “yes” and leaves the other blank, does that mean their answer is “no”?

I haven’t made any assumptions yet, but a lot of the surveys have minor issues like that. Another example is a question that asked to put a check mark beside the item that the respondent used most. Many respondents checked more than one answer! How do I deal with that?

I guess focusing on these somewhat trivial decisions lets me steer clear of actually trying to make sense of the aggregated responses. Time to get back to work and start crunching these numbers!!

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