A unique approach weaves background information about data with practical, hands-on lessons that develop fundamental research skills all students should understand. Easy-to-follow tutorials provide readers with step-by-step instructions to quickly begin analyzing data without having advanced knowledge of data analysis or statistics. Extensive illustrations throughout the book demonstrate to readers how to understand data. End-of-chapter On Your Own exercises challenge readers to develop their skills through easy-to-use data files and questions to reinforce the chapter learning objectives. Student Study Site includes data sets that readers can use to test their data literacy

Data Defined

Before we start exploring our world of data, we need to have a solid grasp of exactly what data are and aren’t. This might seem like a technicality that we could ignore, but it’s important for us to develop an understanding, one that will prepare us as students or professionals to communicate effectively with others who maintain and share data. If we’re able to express what we mean by data, we’ll be more effective when we’re trying to obtain them from the Internet or by using open-records laws.

The word data, of course, is the plural of the Greek word datum, and has been around for centuries. So it is nothing new. However, many people misunderstand and ...

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