What is Data Analysis? - Definition & Overview

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  • 0:00 Research and Data
  • 0:54 Methods of Data Collection
  • 2:28 The Process of Data Analysis
  • 3:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

In this lesson, we will learn about data analysis. We will define it, learn about the forms of data collection, and go through the process of data analysis. The lesson will conclude with a brief quiz to check your knowledge.

Research and Data

Meet Cane. Cane is a student enrolled in a research course. Having never done research before, he was not sure what to expect. Shortly into the course, the professor assigned the very first assignment. Students were to select a topic that interests them and present a question that they hoped to answer by conducting research.

Because Cane loves hunting, he decided to do some research to discover what the average age was that youth started hunting deer and bears. He hoped to see if there were any differences in how young the hunters were based on the element of how dangerous each species was. For example, Cane suspected that there would be more young hunters hunting deer than there would be hunting bears. While Cane knew what his topic was, and he knew what question he wanted to answer, he did not know where to begin.

In this lesson, we will learn what data analysis is and explore the different methods of collecting data and how to analyze them.

Methods of Data Collection

Data analysis is a method in which data is collected and organized so that one can derive helpful information from it. In other words, the main purpose of data analysis is to look at what the data is trying to tell us. For example, what does the data show or do? What does the data not show or do? For Cane, will his data show that there are more young hunters out hunting deer each year? Or, will it shock Cane and show that more young hunters are hunting bears?

There are many different methods of collecting data. Depending on the type of research one is conducting, they may use one or more of the following forms:

Observations: This type of data collection involves watching or observing something or someone. For example, Cane might observe how many people come to buy hunting licenses and note their age.

Interviews: This involves talking to people. When interviewing someone, there are usually questions asked so that the researcher can come to some sort of conclusion. For Cane, he might ask the Department of Natural Resources how many deer and bear tags have been fulfilled by young hunters.

Surveys: A survey is a series of questions. An example of survey questions might be:

  1. Were you satisfied with your experience today?
  2. Will you shop at our store again?

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