Many texts are available to help graduate students and researchers design studies, understand statistical methods, and conduct analyses using standard software, but little exists that helps with the creation of data sets. Microsoft Excel has evolved into a remarkably sophisticated data entry and statistical analysis system, with an extensive toolkit that can make these processes efficient and accurate. This is a practical step-by-step guide to using Excel in the data preparation process. The book includes plentiful screenshots, text boxes summarizing important points, examples from across the social sciences, and questions at the end of each chapter. In addition, a sample dataset will be available online for students to download and use for all the examples and exercises throughout the text. This brief book is intended to familiarize students, teachers, and researchers with the Excel toolkit, and provide strategies that ease the task of data creation and analysis.

Data Import and Verification

The last chapter focused on manual data entry. This one focuses instead on importing data into Excel. This is increasingly the norm and can occur for a variety of reasons. It may be that the data come from another researcher who (you hope) verified the data before sending it to you. Data have often been collected on scan sheets—forms that require participants to fill in bubbles that can be converted to an electronic text file using a special device created for that purpose. Though this technology is still in use, it's increasingly being replaced by websites as the preferred choice for electronic data collection. There are websites dedicated to data collection, such as SurveyMonkey or Mechanical Turk, or a website ...

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