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QMST 4320: Data Analysis: Home

Guide for QMST 4320 Data Analysis

Introduction

What to expect from this LibGuide?

This LibGuide will help you to find data you need for your research. It has general information on translating your research question into data requirements, and gives information on useful sources for specific types of data.

What not to expect from this LibGuide?

You should not expect extensive manuals for specific data sources here, although there are links to documentation and manuals where available. Use this LibGuide to decide which data sources could be useful for your work, not as a manual for how to work with those data sources. 

Start with Strategy

Write up your question.

Turn your interest into a research query by being sure to address basic questions like Who, What, When, Where, & Why.

If your interest is in diversity of faculty at Texas universities, it might look like this: 

Table of criteria for my topic
Who What When Where Why
Faculty - tenure track Diversity - race, gender, age, disability status, veteran status From 2000-current Texas Universities Does it reflect the diversity of the student population? Or the state's population?

Select Key Words that cover your topic

Faculty - Diversity - Texas - Universities 

Find synonyms to those words that researchers might use

Faculty or professors or teachers

Diversity or inclusion or disparity or racism 

Texas or Southwest or Southern 

University or Higher Education


Determine Scope

The scope of your research refers to the different dimensions of your research, for example the temporal dimension (in my example, I'm limiting to 2000-current, although I may not be able to find current year data), the geographical dimension (all Universities in Texas? I may only be able to find data on public Universities), or the type of subjects (I may learn along the way that there are several types of faculty including lecturers, tenure-track, non-tenure track, etc.).

Setting the scope determines to an important extent what sources are available. Sometimes your research question specifically points to a certain scope: it is difficult to research the 1997 Asian financial crisis using only EU data from 2010. In other cases, data availability will automatically determine the scope of your research.

Now comes the data

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