Research Basics: Design to Data Analysis in Six Steps offers a fresh and creative approach to the research process based on author James V. Spickard’s decades of teaching experience. Using an intuitive six–step model, readers learn how to craft a research question and then identify a logical process for answering it. Conversational writing and multi–disciplinary examples illuminate the model’s simplicity and power, effectively connecting the “hows” and “whys” behind social science research. Students using this book will learn how to turn their research questions into results.

Comparing: Economic, Demographic, and Organizational Data

Comparing: Economic, Demographic, and Organizational Data

Type of Data

Comparing Regions and Organizations

Reports of acts, behavior, or events

Economic data

Organizational data

Demographic data

Data Collection Method

Public and private records

X

X

X

X

Surveys / questionnaires

X

(X)

(X)

X

This chapter is about comparing. It is specifically about comparing aggregate data that have been collected from regions, from organizations, and from schools. Such data describe these things as collectives; they do not describe the individuals who live, work, or study in them. The regions, organizations, and schools in question are the units of analysis. Comparing across these units lets us see if there are patterns that might answer whatever research question we are asking.

Most aggregate data consist of reports of acts, behavior, and events. These can include economic data, organizational data, and demographic data, which are specialized ...

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