Computer Data Capturing, Preparing and Coding


We can choose the right Computer Software to do your data analysis such as SPSS and SAS. We use specialized ones as well, such as SPSS AMOs which can help us to do Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and the one which does content analysis. Data preparation includes editing or cleaning up the data, coding, and data entry into the computer. It is the activity that ensures the accuracy of the data. It is at this stage when errors and inconsistencies may be revealed. Editing involves making sure that the data is accurate and consistent with the intent of the question (i.e., validity). We can also do field editing by reviewing the questionnaires, doing callbacks (no guess work), and validating field results by interviewing a certain percentage of the respondents. Inconsistencies should be avoided at all costs. Coding involves assigning numbers or symbols to answers so that the responses can be grouped into a limited number of categories. Categories are the partitions of a data set of a given variable (e.g., gender, job satisfaction). Both closed- and open-ended questions must be coded. Closed-ended questions can be precoded. This makes the intermediate step of completing a data entry coding sheet unnecessary. For open-ended questions, insufficient information or lack of a hypothesis may prohibit preparing response categories in advance. There are four coding rules (see Cooper and Schindler, 2008) as follows. The categories within a single variable should be:

 

  • Appropriate to the research problem and purpose
  • Exhaustive (sometimes include “other)
  • Mutually exclusive 
  • Derived from one classification dimension

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