One issue in data analysis that feels like it should be obvious, but often isn’t, is setting up your data.
The kinds of issues involved include:
- What is a variable?
- What is a unit of observation?
- Which data should go in each row of the data matrix?
Answering these practical questions is one of those skills that comes with experience, especially in complicated data sets.
Even so, it’s extremely important. If the data isn’t set up right, the software won’t be able to run any of your analyses.
And in many data situations, you will need to set up the data different ways for different parts of the analyses. (more…)