Workshop Enrollment: Principal Component Analysis

A 4-Module Online, Interactive Workshop

Starts on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Are you ready to tackle multivariate statistics, but find yourself overwhelmed?

When you’re working with many correlated variables, they get too unwieldy to use individually. But all of them are important to measure.

Whether or not these variables are ‘supposed’ to be correlated, there are ways of combining these variables while extracting the most possible information they contain.

And it’s not as simple as averaging them. You lose a lot with a simple approach like that.

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce multiple variables into fewer so your data is easier to analyze. You can do this by using principal component analysis or factor analysis.

But these techniques require many decisions:

  • Which variables matter — and which don’t?
  • How many subscales are you really seeing?
  • How many variables are on each subscale? Which go to which?
  • Which rotation technique should I use? (Wait, what is rotation?!)

Making these choices can be as much art as science… but if you’re not sure of your approach, it can be paralyzing.

Ready to gain confidence in variable reduction?

I’m Karen Grace-Martin, workshop instructor.

By the end of this workshop, my goal is for you to understand principal component analysis and exploratory factor analysis and all their concepts, steps, and decisions so you can apply them with confidence in your research.

Karen Grace-MartinKaren Grace-Martin MA, MA

In this four-module live, online workshop, we’ll cover:

  • The theoretical and practical differences between principal component analysis and exploratory factor analysis and when to use each.
  • The steps and decisions you need to make in PCA and EFA and how to make solid, confident choices about factors to retain, interpretation of loadings, rotation methods, and more.
  • How to use PCA and EFA for dimension reduction and how to create reliable scale or sub-scale scores.
  • How these analyses fit into the wider context of scale development and reliability.

Who Is This Workshop For?

This workshop is for you if you:

  • Are adept at multiple linear regression and are ready to expand your statistical skills.
  • Need to implement exploratory factor analysis and/or principal component analysis, and want to ensure you’re conducting and interpreting your analysis well.
  • Have conducted principal component analysis models in the past with help, and are confused by all the conflicting information and rules of thumb you’ve encountered. Now, you’d like to understand it once and for all.
  • Are preparing to defend your dissertation in the social sciences and want to thoroughly understand your PCA or EFA, so you can answer the questions.

It is NOT for you if you:

  • Are doing research where you have just a few variables and they are all independent.
  • Are looking for a training of the theoretical or mathematical underpinnings of PCA and EFA.
  • Already run and thoroughly understand principal component analysis and factor analysis.

“The workshop cuts into the heart of what I want: a strong understanding of the tools, to improve productivity, and an excellent coverage of QA/QC.”

— Carl Hollins, Previous workshop participant —

How Does It Work?

This course is a 4-module live, interactive online workshop.

All lessons are conducted online via live webinar. You’ll see the instructor’s screen to view the presentation…all from your own home or office.

During each webinar session, the instructor will cover core concepts and steps and will leave plenty of time to ask your own questions.

Have more questions? No problem!

In addition to the four lessons, you’ll also meet with your instructor for four additional Q&A sessions where you can get additional assistance on workshop concepts, deepen your knowledge, and clarify any questions.

All 4 Workshop Sessions and 4 Q&A Sessions Are Recorded for Your Convenience.

Where Do I Access Recordings and Material?

For each of the four modules, you will have a set of training resources and material.

As a participant of the Principal Component and Exploratory Factor Analysis workshop, you can access these for 12 months in our participant-only website.

Data Sets
Real research data sets in SPSS, SAS, Stata, and csv formats.

Exercises + Solutions
Try out what you’ve learned in each module to cement the material. Never get stuck with provided syntax and interpretations.

Syntax and Demo Videos
Step-by-step videos for SPSS, SAS, Stata, and R. Available to download so you can save and edit them for your own analysis.

Forum Access
Ask your instructor about workshop content or how to apply it to your own data analysis.

Session slides and supplementary material to support your learning.

Q&A Recordings
Can’t make a live Q&A? Submit questions ahead of time and get answers from the recording.

Session Recordings
Made available within 48 hours so you can review material at your preferred schedule.

Suggested Resources
External videos, articles, or exercises that we recommend to support your learning.

You’ll have access to this site and all the related materials and resources for ONE FULL YEAR. That means you can re-watch sessions and ask additional questions again during that 12-month period.

Often, our students report they understand the material at a deeper level on a second or third pass. You’ll learn more every time, so take advantage of it!

“As I live outside of the US, I appreciated being able to download videos of modules and watch them in my own time. Detailed code for reproducing analyses in the major software packages was also very helpful.”

— Steve Thomas, Previous workshop participant —

What’s Covered in the Workshop?

Module 1: Principal Component Analysis Overview

We start off introducing you to the concepts, vocabulary, notation, and steps to conducting a Principal Component Analysis.

We specifically will cover:

  • The difference between Principal Component and Exploratory Factor Analysis and when to use each
  • Initial Extraction of Components, Eigenvalues, Communalities, and Variance explained
  • Scree Plots, Loadings, Parallel Analysis for choosing the number of components to retain
  • How to interpret all that output
  • How to create component scores from the results and what they mean

Module 2: Principal Component Analysis in Detail

In the second module, we dig deeper into the steps, concepts, and interpretation of everything we did in module 1. There is a particular emphasis on:

  • What we’re really doing when we create a component
  • All the ways of choosing the number of components
  • Types of Rotation and how to decide which one to use

Module 3: Exploratory Factor Analysis

In Module 3, we turn our attention to EFA. The steps in EFA are the same as in PCA, but the choices and interpretations are different.

  • How EFA differs from PCA theoretically and practically and why it’s important
  • Factor Scores and Factor-Based Scores
  • Methods of initial extraction and how to choose the best one

Module 4: Data Issues and Assessing Scale Reliability and Validity

In Module 4, we turn to some important issues in PCA and EFA, now that you understand the steps and interpretation.

Here we tackle two important issues. The first is the important data assumptions and requirements for conducting a solid analysis. And some options for what to do when those are not met. The second is how to assess the reliability of a scale that you created using EFA.

  • Sample size requirements
  • The importance of reverse coding
  • Tricky data situations: ordinal and categorical variables, missing data, likert scale data
  • Missing Data
  • Scale Reliability
  • Calculating Cronbach’s alpha

Dates and Times

There are four workshop modules, each with a lesson and a Q&A session (plus supporting materials).

We will meet on Tuesdays at 3pm, US Eastern. The workshop sessions are approximately 2 hours long, including time for questions.

Workshop Orientation (Optional):

Monday, March 2, 2020 from 3pm – 4pm (GMT-5)

Live Workshop Dates: Tuesdays from 3pm – 5pm (GMT-5)

Module 1 – March 3

Module 2 – March 10

Module 3 – March 17

Module 4 – March 24

Q&A Session Dates: Mondays from 3pm – 4pm (GMT-5)

Module 1 – March 9

Module 2 – March 16

Module 3 – March 23

Module 4 – March 30

Remember, everything is recorded and available for you to watch at your convenience, should you be unable to attend a live session.

Also, you have access to all the class materials for a full 12 months from your enrollment date.

Sorry, enrollment for this workshop is not currently open.

Please contact us if you have any questions
or get on the waiting list to be notified when it's open again.

About Your Instructor

Hi, I’m Karen Grace-Martin, your workshop instructor.

As president and founder of The Analysis Factor, I’ve been supporting researchers like you through their statistical planning, analysis, and interpretation since 1997.

My goal is to help you improve your statistical literacy so you can bring your important research results into the light with confidence.

Karen Grace-Martin
Karen Grace-Martin MA, MA

“Being able to re-watch the modules later on was very helpful because I was able to pause, go back, and skip around, in order to make sure I was fully understanding the material.”

— Catherine, Previous workshop participant —


So what kind of background in statistics do you need?

This workshop is for researchers, not statisticians. That being said, it is an Stage 3 (Beyond Linear Models) workshop.

We’re assuming you have solid experience in linear regression and correlation.

If you have questions about whether you’re ready, just email us. We’ll give you our honest opinion. We want you to succeed!

Your Satisfaction Is Guaranteed

As with all of our programs, your satisfaction is guaranteed. Your registration fee is fully refundable for any reason up to the close of enrollment, no questions asked. Once the refund period ends and the workshop begins, we want you to be satisfied. If you participate fully in a workshop – watch, read, and try out what is included – and find you are not satisfied, we will give you a full refund. Just notify us within 90 days of purchasing the program.


Q: I haven’t taken a statistics course in years. Will I be able to keep up?

A: As long as you have the suggested prerequisites (a strong understanding of linear regression), you should be fine.

However, you WILL need to spend some time each week, both going over the material and also “getting your hands dirty” with some data. Expect to spend 4-5 hours per week reviewing the material and doing the exercises, and re-running class examples on your own.

And if you have questions during the workshop, make sure to attend the Q&A sessions and/or post on the Workshop Center to clarify anything you’re not clear on.

You know how this goes: The more time you put in, the deeper your understanding.

Q: What’s your refund policy?

A: Your registration fee is fully refundable up to 72 hours before your first class session. No refunds will be granted after the program begins.

Q: Do you offer student discounts?

A: Yes, we do! Current students with a valid ID can register for up to 20% off the standard rate. Click here to receive our student discount on all our workshops: Student Discount List

Q: Things are very busy at work right now, and I’m afraid I won’t have time to keep up. How much time per week does this really take?

A: We’ve worked hard to make sure people can take a workshop in the midst of their normal work life. For longer workshops, we build in a week off halfway through the course.

Each workshop webinar session is about 2 hours, whether you attend live or listen to the recording.

Each week, we have a one-hour Q&A session. You don’t have to attend, we just make those available so you can have any questions answered or listen in on others’ questions.

We provide exercises, answers and data sets, so you can practice what you’ve learned each week and get help in the Q&As. These will take you a few hours each week, maybe up to 3 or so. The exercises aren’t required—you’re not graded. But we’ve gotten feedback that they’re very helpful, as it allows you to practice and figure out what you did and didn’t understand.

In other words, each week, there are approximately 2 hours of instruction, one hour of Q&A, and about 2-3 hours of practice time. So if you have a crazy hectic week during the workshop, you have catch up time. But If you have a crazy hectic month, you may be better off waiting as you won’t really have a chance to catch up.

One reminder: You have access to the workshop website, all materials, and a place to ask questions for a year. So if you get behind, you aren’t missing out. You can catch up on your schedule.

Q: I teach/work/sleep during this time and cannot attend live. Is there any way to register and access the webinar sessions later?

A: Yes! We have participants from many time zones with many different work schedules. In order to support our diverse student base, all material – including the workshop sessions and Q&As — are recorded and made available to students within 48 hours. They’re screenshot video files, so you’ll hear the instructor talking and see his screen, just as live participants do. You can even submit questions for written answers any time between sessions. Many students take the entire workshop in this manner, never attending a session live.

You can also download and keep these videos forever, so if you need to refresh your memory at any point in the future, it’s yours to review.

Q: I’m outside the U.S. Can I still participate?

A: Yes. We have participants in our workshops from many different countries. You will want a fast internet connection and either a computer speaker or a telephone if you plan to attend live.

Q: Can I pay with Paypal?

A: Yes. When you check out, you can pay directly using our system or paying with Paypal. However, the three-payment option is not available using PayPal.

Q: Can I join the Q&A webinars from my tablet or phone?

A: Yes. You can join all webinar sessions from your Apple or Android device by downloading a free GoToMeeting app.

Q: This really isn’t a good time for me. Will you be offering this workshop again soon?

A: We don’t have a set schedule for running each workshop. We try to schedule each workshop every 12-18 months, though very popular workshops may be offered more often. We are sometimes unable to re-run a workshop if the instructor becomes unavailable so there are no guarantees that any workshop will be run again.

If you think you’ll need the material in the next half-year or so, I would suggest registering now. You’ll get all the materials to download and review at your convenience, and you can attend again for free any time in the next 12 months.

Have additional questions? We’re here to help! Just email us at