It is considered a best practice for researchers to spend some time, immediately after data entry, to review the data.

  • Is the data complete, or are there missing pieces that must be investigated? Are the data ranges what one might reasonably expect?
  • Are there extremes in reported values that suggest an unusual population or possible errors that will need to be traced back to the document of origin?

In the early stages, it is important for a researcher to get a bird’s-eye view of their data before diving into deeper, more complex analyses. Eventually the data will need to be cleaned, but for now the researcher just needs to identify some basic information. To this end, SPSS provides some nice tools—the most basic being the pivot tables and histograms—to easily summarize and visualize interval/ratio data, no matter how large or small. Categorical data can also be summarized with a pivot table, but you will need to use a bar graph instead of a histogram. Do you know the difference?


For this practice exercise, you will need to upload the data set (Emotional Well-Being_your initials) you created.

  • Using this data set and the video instructions linked in Resources, create two or three pivot tables of your choice.
  • Create a bar graph for the variable Gender, and then a histogram for the variables Age and Baseline SF-36 Well-Being Scores.

In your post for this discussion:

  1. Post your creations (pivot table, bar graph and histogram) in the discussion area.
  2. Explain the difference between a bar chart or graph and a histogram.
  3. Summarize, in your own words, the most important messages you find in each of the outputs you created.
  4. Describe one or two of the challenges you found while performing these exercises and how you resolved the issues. Where appropriate, provide the address of any website that helped you.
  5. Remember to refer to the guidelines in the Faculty Expectations message (FEM) as you prepare your post.

Response Guidelines

Read and respond to the posts of your peers according to the guidelines in the FEM.

Address one of more of the following in your response:

  • How do the challenges and resolutions of your peers compare to yours?
  • How did your conclusions related to the most important messages you found in each of the outputs you created compare to those of your peers?


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