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Discover the Scope of the Problem

Just because you found some data errors does not necessarily mean that your information cannot be used. Rather, you will need to determine the scope of the problem(s) to help you identify areas that need to be fixed. A great way to assess your data is by creating pivot tables.

Pivot Tables

Producing pivot tables (crosstabs) of each data field is an easy way to determine error rates. This technique works for all field types except for free text fields. Below is an example of a pivot table.

Gender

Count

%

Female

100

45.5%

Male

65

29.5%

Unknown

30

13.6%

Blank

25

11.4%

 

So what do you learn by creating a pivot table?

When an error rate reaches between 10-20%, the cause should always be investigated. Well, for example, there are two areas of concern with the above table. First, 11.4% of the total count for gender is blank. The second is that 13.6% of respondent's gender is unknown. Either of these items should raise a red flag and prompt the reviewer to investigate the data.

Next Step
Clean the Data Using a Predefined Specification >>

 

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rev. 29-Aug-2016

 

 

 

Investigate the scope of the problem.
Resource Library

How to Analyze Data - Workshop
Review the PowerPoints and the handouts from the most recent workshop on analyzing data; you will find information on creating pivot tables.

 

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