Datasets consist of all of the information gathered during a survey which needs to be analyzed. Learning how to interpret the results is a key component to the survey process.
- The individual-level results of a survey, conceptualized as a table or “matrix.” The rows contain values for each individual’s coded responses to the questions asked (contained in the columns.)
- Below you can see part of the SPSS downloaded dataset for the results of the USVNS National Election 2000. Column 9, for example, shows the variable “pres”, which stands for “presidential vote.” In the “Values” column, a “1” was coded for Gore, “2” for Bush, etc. (The pop-up box shows the other Value Labels in that category.)
- Statistical software is necessary to define, manipulate, and extract variables and cases within data files.
- Small data files may also be analyzed within spreadsheet software such as Excel.