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Data Processing

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Marketing
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TYBMS Prof. Hemant Kombrabail
DATA PROCESSING
After data collection, the researcher has to look after the processing of the data collected.
This involves editing, coding, classification and tabulation of data. These steps are
interrelated and need to be completed properly. Analysis and interpretation of data are
possible only when the data are arranged in an orderly manner. The processing of data is
a type of office work which can be attended to by the office staff under the guidance of
researcher.
The steps involved in the processing of data are as noted below:
(1) Preliminary screening of the data collected,
(2) Editing of data,
(3) Coding of data,
(4) Classification of data
(5) Tabulation of data.
(6) Analysis of data
(1) PRELIMINARY SCREENING OF THE DATA COLLECTED
Preliminary screening or scanning of data is prior to the editing. The purpose of initial
screening is to verify accuracy and completeness of data for further processing. During
the data collection process, supervisors keep check on the data collection work of
investigators. Thereafter, the preliminary screening is undertaken at the office level.
The screening is usually on the basis of the following three points:
(i) Relevance: It is a fact that major portion of data collected through questionnaire is
useful for classification. However, certain information may or may not be useful for
actual survey work. For example, investigators may note the views, opinions or other
details based on their observation during the interview. Such information needs screening
in order to judge its relevance to the problem under study. This enables the researcher to
use relevant information while drawing conclusions.
(ii) Reliability: Data used for MR should be reliable, complete and correct. In the
preliminary screening of data, some more tests are applied to check the extent of
reliability of data. An attempt is being made to verify whether adequate care has been
taken for the collection of reliable' data in the initial stages. Data of doubtful quality are
discarded or sent back for further verification.
(iii) Practical use / utility: Investigators are usually instructed to note additional
information that seems pertinent to the research problem. As a result, additional
information is noted by them in the questionnaires. Some extra information may be
relevant but of little practical value. Such information need not be considered for
classification. It is possible to omit such data from further processing work.
In brief, preliminary screening of data collected through field survey is one initial
scrutiny / scanning of the data to be used for further processing. Here, the data are
examined and data which are relevant, reliable and useful for research purpose are
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TYBMS Prof. Hemant Kombrabail
selected for further processing. Data which are not relevant or are unreliable or
incomplete are discarded. This is how preliminary screening facilitates easy and quick
editing of data collected. This preliminary screening of data should be given to a person
with knowledge and experience.
(2) EDITING OF DATA
The first task in data processing is the editing. Editing is the process of eliminating errors
in the raw data collected so that the data are prepared for subsequent coding. As it is a
very subjective process, it is necessary that persons who are well-qualified and trained in
the job of editing, should alone be entrusted with this responsibility.
Editing is the process of examining errors and omissions in the collected data and making
necessary corrections in the same. This is desirable when there is some inconsistency in
the response or responses as entered in the questionnaire or when it contains only a
partial or a vague answer. A few examples will indicate how editing can be helpful.
1 The respondent has given answers which are inconsistent with each other In such a
case, the editor has to change one of the answers so as to make it consistent with the
others He has to use his judgement to decide which answer is correct so that the other
one can be suitable changed
2 The respondent has marked two answers instead of one for a particular question In such
case, the editor has to carefully examine which of the two answers would be more
accurate Sometimes when a decision cannot be made categorically, he may prefer to
code ‘no information’ for that question
3 The respondent has answered a question by checking one of the many possible
categories contained in the questionnaire In addition, the respondent has written some
remarks in the margin These remarks do not go well with the particular category
marked by the respondent The editor has to look into this and may have to change the
category to better represent the remarks made by the respondent
4 Sometimes the questionnaires contain imaginary and fictitious data This may be due to
cheating by the interviewers who may fill in the entries in the questionnaire without
actually interviewing the respondent This may also happen in case of a mail
questionnaire, where the respondent has given an arbitrary answer without exercising
any care If the responses indicate obvious inaccuracy, they may be either dropped or
suitably modified if they are to be retained The editor has to exercise his judgement in
this regard
In all cases where editorial corrections are to be made, it is necessary that these should be
kept distinct from the changes made either by the respondent or by the interviewer This
can be ensured by the editor by using a different coloured pencil for editing the raw data
An editor should be well-versed with the editing of questionnaires It may be emphasised
that editing a manuscript is different from the editing of .a questionnaire or numeric data
People who are good at editing descriptive material may not be able to edit numeric data
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DATA PROCESSING After data collection, the researcher has to look after the processing of the data collected. This involves editing, coding, classification and tabulation of data. These steps are interrelated and need to be completed properly. Analysis and interpretation of data are possible only when the data are arranged in an orderly manner. The processing of data is a type of office work which can be attended to by the office staff under the guidance of researcher. The steps involved in the processing of data are as noted below: (1) Preliminary screening of the data collected, (2) Editing of data, (3) Coding of data, (4) Classification of data (5) Tabulation of data. (6) Analysis of data (1) PRELIMINARY SCREENING OF THE DATA COLLECTED Preliminary screening or scanning of data is prior to the editing. The purpose of initial screening is to verify accuracy and completeness of data for further processing. During the data collection process, supervisors keep check on the data collection work of investigators. Thereafter, the preliminary screening is undertaken at the office level. The screening is usually on the basis of the following three points: (i) Relevance: It is a fact that major portion of data collected through questionnaire is useful for classification. However, certain information may or may not be useful for actual survey work. For example, investigators may note the views, opinions or other details based on their observation during the interview. Such inf ...
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