The Usefulness of Analytical Tools in Preparing a Dissertation

So it’s the final semester of your university, and you have been assigned with a dissertation paper. Now you might be brushing it off thinking how difficult can it be! But think again; are you aware of the complexities that are involved in producing a compelling dissertation? For instance, the analytical tools that are used for data analysis of your dissertation. Sounds complicated, right? So let’s elucidate a little bit on the process of data analysis and the tools and methods through which the process is usually carried out.

Data Analysis is an essential aspect for determining the objectives of your dissertation because only when you apply the appropriate technique for evaluating the information, that’s when the process shows the proper outcomes. The analysis can be based on several factors, and these factors help to define the correct tools and techniques which should be applied to assess the information gathered. Data analysis demands a thorough understanding of the information, acknowledgement of the pertinent methods or instruments, and then maintaining a justified approach for data entry and evaluation. To ensure you get the appropriate outcomes to include in your dissertation proposals, you need to follow these processes to the T.

Data analysis can roughly be divided into two categories:

  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Quantitative Data Analysis

Quantitative data analysis consists of several statistical techniques to perform a myriad of assessments to reach the suitable outcome successfully. To conduct these assessments, you need to be well acquainted with statistical methods like SAS, SPSS, STATA and Excel. You need to decipher the information and present it in the paper according to the suitability of a particular technique associated with your dissertation. Additionally, you are required to evaluate the relevance and necessity of the processes like MANCOVA, ANOVA, SEM, cluster analysis, path analysis and regression and then carry out the investigation accordingly.

Similarly, you need to acquire requisite skills and experience for conducting the qualitative approach to data analysis. A researcher has to be adept at coding, identifying and performing the proper qualitative assessment like Content Analysis, Thematic Analysis, Discourse Analysis and other processes such as Grounded Theory, Phenomenology, Ethnography and Participatory Action Research. A student pursuing higher studies needs to acquire in-depth knowledge about these instruments and techniques to apply to their advantage.

Listed below are some of the most common tools students should be aware of while conducting data analysis for their dissertation.

  • Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS)

SPSS is statistical software that was created by the IBM. This method is adopted by the students as it lets them perform data entry and develop multiple tables other than graphs or charts to assess the information precisely. This software can prove to be useful for social sciences, health researchers, education researchers, survey organisations, government, marketing companies etc. It can be conveniently downloaded on laptops running on any variants of the Windows operating system other than on desktops having access to open source operating system.

The information is added to the worksheet, and there are different options available to work on the information. For instance, within the data option, you will come across a list that possesses numerous formats of sorting, searching and arranging it. Also, you can opt for the graph section that enables the users to create various kinds of graphs based on how the data is required to be analysed. The software presents a graphical user interface (GUI), and no written commands are necessary.

  • Excel

Excel is ideal for the management of information and pre-organizing raw details before the evaluation of data. Microsoft Excel is a tool that comprises of spreadsheets which lets the students to input numbers and formulae to carry out proper calculations. This software is considered as exceedingly beneficial for statistical calculations. It comes with a list of techniques and therefore requires the students only to select the row and formula that are relevant for the data analysis. There may also be some procedures that are not added to the list, but those can be applied manually by the students, according to their requirements.

Excel has another notable feature which makes it more convenient to carry out the process of data analysis. It includes a list of graphs that can be applied to the calculation method making it simple for the user to show the outcomes. Other than the general design, there are a plenty of new kinds of graphs that are present on the list; the pages are known as spreadsheets and appear in a table format. The students can choose to work on multiple different sheets at the same time, and the number of sheets is collectively known as a workbook. To ensure the software runs smoothly the students will have to acquire the entire Microsoft office system. This software is primarily available for Windows operating system users.

  • Econometric View (Eview)

It is analytical software for windows and consists of a modern econometric, statistical and forecasting system that offers a potent instrument for evaluating the information within a simple, and convenient user interface. With the application of Eviews, you can organise your information promptly and effectively, carry out a statistical and econometric assessment, gather the details about forecasts or model simulations and present high-quality tables and graphs to maintain the competency of the research.

The seamless and smooth user interface simplifies every stage of the data analysis procedure, from data input to the visualisation of data, estimation, forecasting, statistical analysis, publication-quality presentation output, etc.  However, for a smooth input and output, it presents several formats and it can also import the Excel data and are adopted to create a histogram.

  • Nvivo

Nvivo is excellent for structuring the details and assisting you in making sense of it during the process of evaluation. It allows you to structure evaluate and witness specific insights in unorganized or qualitative details like open-ended survey responses. For instance, articles, interviews, social media and web content. Nvivo can be a useful method for organising a massive number of data, specifically text in the format of a transcript.

When analyzing the qualitative information, the process will be more time consuming to perform, challenging to maintain and tough to pursue if you don’t apply the Nvivvo technique. More significantly, finishing a complex and detail-oriented assignment without using this software can make it extremely tedious to establish relations with your data and find new perspectives that will give your paper an edge.

By applying Nvivo to finish your dissertation, you can -

  • Work more conveniently
  • Save a lot of time
  • Promptly structure, store and obtain data
  • Support your findings with adequate proof

This software provides you with a place to structure and maintain your material so that your data can be relevant to the topic of your dissertation. It also comes with techniques that enable you to ask questions about the particular information in a more effective way.

So you see, conducting research and data analysis while preparing your dissertation paper is integral to the entire process.

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