Booth Associates

Statistical Data Analysis

Where Do/Does Data Come From?

Contrary to common belief, data analysis does not begin after the data have been collected. It really begins during the early planning stages when we are trying to decide

  • what data to collect
  • where the data should be obtained
  • how the data should be obtained
  • how much data should be collected
  • what analyses we will perform on the data after they have been collected

The above list is shocking to some people. They suppose that the quality of the data is unimportant and that the use of powerful statistical methods can compensate for deficiencies in the data themselves. This is simply not true. The adage "garbage in, garbage out" has never been more true than in this situation.

We have worked on literally thousands of data analyses, and it is not uncommon for us to be asked to analyze and interpret data that were obtained under conditions that have been long-forgotten. At best, under these circumstances we are able to get only conditional results with questionable confidence in any conclusions drawn. It is even more sad when recently-collected data are given to us for analysis and interpretation. Then when we delve into the details, we find that there are problems that invalidate the data for answering the very questions for which the data were collected.

Assuring that Your Data Will Answer the Questions You Have

If we expect to get good, unequivocal answers to our questions, we must deal with all of the five items mentioned in the previous section. Otherwise, we can be easily led to wrong conclusions. This is true for any study that depends upon data for its conclusions--which should be every study.

We have met many "gut-feeling" decision makers who pride themselves on being able to make good decisions without the aid of data. Unfortunately, none of these self-proclaimed masters has been able to make good decisions consistently. On the other hand, we have met many quiet, self-assured decision makers who have learned to obtain good data, analyze it properly, and make appropriate decisions based on the interpretation of the data.

What Kinds of Data Analyses Are We Talking About?

Data can be obtained from sample surveys, from automated equipment, from samples taken on the shop floor, from shipping boxes, from orders being processed, and from many other sources. What is important is that the iPad 2 Cases UK correct data be obtained in the correct way in order to enable us to draw correct conclusions.

You may have important questions concerning any aspect of your company. Booth Associates can help you to:

  • determine what data will answer your questions
  • set up a plan to obtain that data in an appropriate way
  • analyze your data after it is Naruto Cosplay Costumes collected
  • interpret the data correctly, based on the analyses

You can contact us by e-mail at Booth Associates.