Data processing

Once the data has been fed into the computer it is possible to carry out many checks on the data and to analyse and cross-analyse it in all sorts of ways. Data can be handled manually, but this is unusual. Computers take the leg work out of survey analysis and allow for a greater sophistication of analysis. However, for simple surveys it may be quicker to process data manually. Statistical tests of the data can be carried out easily, and weighting to remove bias due to over- or underrepresentation in the sample is quite straightforward. The problem that arises from easy access to a vast range of statistical techniques is that of overanalysis. It is possible to generate vast numbers of tables very easily. It must be remembered that the information generated must relate to the research objectives and that the information should be used. That said, most managers with access to standard business software can produce data of great sophistication quickly and cheaply.

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