Data Analysis Glossary


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Accessibility - Data that is relatively easily obtained

Analysis - The process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data

A priori - A Latin phrase meaning "from the former". 1 a: DEDUCTIVE
b: relating to or derived by reasoning from self-evident propositions c: presupposed by experience ( Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary - 10 th edition ).
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Bias –the compromised quality of a measurement device that misrepresents a population of interest

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Clinical significance - the potential for research findings to make a real and important difference to clients or clinical practice, to health status or to any other problem identified as a relevant priority for the discipline (Jeans, 1992).

Closed-ended survey - restricting response option to a limited number of choices

Content analysis - a technique used I qualitative analysis to study written material by breaking it into meaningful units, using carefully applied rules.

Convenience sample - researchers make little or no effort to insure that sample is an accurate representation of some larger group or population (also referred to as an opportunity sample).

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Data accessibility - data that is relatively easily obtained

Data analysis - the process of systematically applying statistical and/or logical techniques to describe and illustrate, condense and recap, and evaluate data

Data collection - the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes.

Data handling - the process of ensuring that research data is stored, archived or disposed off in a safe and secure manner during and after the conclusion of a research project.

Data hoarding - the act of withholding access to data because of proprietary, economic, security or other concerns.

Data instruments - mechanism used to collect and measure variable(s) of interest

Data integrity - a condition in which data has not been altered or destroyed in an unauthorized manner. (

Data ownership - refers to both the possession of and responsibility for information

Data reporting and publishing - the process of preparing and disseminating research findings to the scientific community.

Data selection - the process of determining the appropriate data type and source, as well as suitable instruments to collect data

Data source - origin where data is collected

Data type - classification of data as either qualitative or quantitative

Data universe - All variables of interest from a particular population

Derived data - Data that was originally supplied in one form, but was converted to another form using some automated process.

Discipline - field of study, branch of knowledge

Documented - furnished with or supported by written/recorded citations

Dredging the data - Analysis of data by several methods to find a significant result (also known as milking the data or data mining).

Drift - Unintentional deviation from the original research/training protocol.

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Extent of analysis - The degree/depth of an analysis procedure

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Funder - the party that commissions the data creation claims ownership over data

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Homogeneous samples - samples with characteristics that are all of the same or similar kind or nature

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Incompetence - Lacking required skills to adequately engage in research activities

Interaction - the effect of one variable on another variable

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Misrepresentation - Act of omitting data that is not supportive of the research hypothesis.

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Open-ended survey - survey instrument that allows for a spontaneous response

Outcome measurements - 1. Response variable (Babbie, 2004). 2. outcome variable, dependent variable, criterion variable, affected or expected to be affected by the independent variable (Fraenkel, Wallen, 2003).

Outliers - Score r other observation that deviates or falls considerably outside most of the other scores or observations in a distribution or pattern (Fraenkel, Wallen, 2003) .

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Packager - the party that collects information for a particular use and adds value through formatting the information for a particular market or set of consumers

Participant observer - A participant-observer is a researcher who is skilled enough to both participate in group work and also observe group process simultaneously.

Partitioning the text - In qualitative analysis, the activity conducted during content analysis where research personnel text break-up (rate/categorize/code) text material by words, phases, clauses, and sentences

Plagiarism - Act of taking credit for ideas or data without permission or that rightfully belongs to others.

Prevention of data errors - proactive approach to forestalling problems with data collection.

Purposive sampling - researcher uses special knowledge or expertise about specific group to select subjects who represent this population. (Berg, 2004)

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Qualitative data–Data that is conceptualize and analyzed as distinct categories with no continuum implied (Fraenkel, Wallen, 2003) .

Quantitative data - Data type represented as numerical figures

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Randomness - the quality of lacking any predictable order or plan. The quality of randomness reduces the occurrence of bias during the selection process (sampling units).

Reliability - A matter of whether a particular technique, applied repeatedly to the same object, would yield the same result each time (Babbie, 1983).

Representative sample - degree of resemblance to population of interest

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Scientific (Research) Misconduct–Fabrication, falsification or plagiarism in proposing, performing, or reviewing research results (Steneck, Zinn, 2003).

Secondary data analysis - the analysis of data collected by someone else, perhaps for some purpose other than that of subsequent analyses. (Babbie, 1983)

Selectivity of reporting - The practice of only using data that supports one’s research hypothesis and ignoring or omitting data that does not.

Social Desirability - Propensity of responder to give socially desirable responses (Paulhus, 1991).

Standardization of protocol - Ensuring that all elements of a protocol are implemented in exactly the same manner

Statistical Significance - (1) A general term used referring to the likelihood that relationships observed in a sample could be attributed to sampling error alone (Babbie, 2004).

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Unobtrusive - data collection that does not require intrusion into the lives of participants by investigators.

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Validity - the degree to which an instrument actually measures what it purports to measure.