When students are fresh out of their undergraduate degree, oftentimes they decide to go on to grad school. Some students, particularly in honors programs, must do a thesis as their final project in order to get their degree.
Graduate degree students also are usually required to do a thesis that includes analysis of data. Sometimes the thesis can be a final project, but, increasingly, even humanities type programs require some sort of analysis of data. This can take the form of qualitative analysis, which utilizes interviews, historical documents and records, participant and non-participant observations, photos, video, and other types of source material.
Data Analysis Requires a Different Outlook
Quantitative analysis utilizes data that can be quantified, often obtained from counts or surveys, census data, medical records, or other documents that provide numerical data. In both cases, students may need thesis data analysis help in order to reach their objectives.
Thesis data analysis help can be distinguished from other types of data analyses in part because it is often the student’s first time analyzing data. This means that oftentimes the student will have disorderly data, poorly operationalized constructs, or data that does not fit with the question or hypothesis they are trying to answer. For this reason, it is often advisable for students to seek out help with their thesis starting in the design stage.
This is because even the most skilled analyst or statistician cannot analyze data that is not appropriately constructed or organized. Sometimes students collect data which ultimately cannot be used to answer the question they are posing, and so much adjust their research topic. Other times, the student’s research question is vague, and therefore, difficult to answer.
When a student seeks out thesis data analysis help from the beginning, the tutor or teacher can help the student devise a question for which data are clearly-defined or readily available, as well as a question that is precise enough to yield interesting and meaningful results.
There is A Tool for Every Situation
Although most data can be analyzed in one way or another, often poorly collected or constructed data must be analyzed in a sub optimal way. Thus, when deadlines are approaching, a project that has reached the analysis stage but is found to be unviable presents a major dilemma. For example, sometimes students want to compare groups with a chi square test but they have only one observation. Then these students must reassess their question, design, or go back and collect more data. Sample size is another important consideration.
These issues, and many more, can be taken care of appropriately when students work with a teacher or stats tutor from the beginning of their project. In this way, students also learn more, because it is often not until students begin doing research of their own that they fully understand the concepts they have been learning in class. Such help might be expensive, but will pay off when a student achieves a strong project or thesis, impresses her or his advisors, and obtains glowing recommendation letters that advance her or his career.