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ERIC Number: EJ1056654
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
Data Preparation 101: How to Use Query-by-Example to Get Your Research Dataset Ready for Primetime
Lazarony, Paul J.; Driscoll, Donna A.
American Journal of Business Education, v4 n3 p1-24 2011
Researchers are often distressed to discover that the data they wanted to use in their landmark study is not configured in a way that is usable by a Statistical Analysis Software Package (SASP). For example, the data needed may come from two or more sources and it may not be clear to the researcher how to get them combined into one analyzable dataset. Fortunately, there is hope. The query facility within database management software (DBMS), such as Microsoft Access, is particularly well-equipped to do the data reconfigurations necessary to get datasets ready for a SASP. Unfortunately, most researchers have either never been exposed to a DBMS or are unaware of the powerful data-transforming queries that they can perform. The purpose of this paper is to introduce researchers to some very helpful and relatively easy to learn techniques for solving common dataset misconfiguration problems. It is presented in three sets of hands-on examples: (1) how to import a dataset from an electronic spreadsheet into a database table, (2) how to use an easy-to-learn DBMS facility called Query-By-Example (QBE) to perform specific data reconfiguration tasks, and (3) how to import the reconfigured dataset from the DBMS into a SASP. The software used is MS Excel, MS Access, and SPSS (originally called Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). The examples are presented step-by-step so that the reader can follow along using files downloadable from the authors' website.
Descriptors: Data Processing, Statistical Analysis, Database Management Systems, Experiential Learning, Spreadsheets, Computer Software, Database Design, Databases, Information Transfer, Demonstrations (Educational), Research Methodology, Research Skills, Research Tools, Educational Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A