Getting data out

The major output of results from computer data processing is in the form of tables, or 'computer tabulation'. The tables will indicate the numbers of respondents in each category of answers and percentages. This is usually done for the sample as a whole and for various subgroups. Figure 10.2 shows an example of a computer table. Cross-tabulation is also used, in which answers to one question are tabulated against answers to another question. For example, answers to questions about home ownership or renting might be cross-tabulated against DIY purchases. Values on one variable are plotted in one direction and the values of the second variable in the other direction, with totals given as the marginal entries. The variables considered might be any two questions on the questionnaire. The major danger in using tabulation and cross-tabulation as a tool of analysis is in asking for too much printout.

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Figure 10.2: Example of computer analysis

Figure 10.2: Example of computer analysis

Typically, the new research user will ask for everything tabulated against everything else, and this will result in literally hundreds of pages of computer printout which the user finds impossible to handle.

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