Blogpost #3

A good portion of data analysis is spent on “cleaning” or tidying data and preparing it. While this is not the only step in the data preparation and analysis process it is one that according to our classes seems to be quite repetitive. Tidy data contains principles that allow whoever may be conducting the research to organize their data. It works as a what I would like to call a “simplification tool” this simplification tool eases the burden and or responsibility of the dealing with the “boring aspects” of your research. While some might find number crunching entertaining. I absolutely hate it. Tidy data would be a great data organizing tool to utilize while doing research. It would allow me less time dealing with numbers and more time dealing with the entertaining portions of my research. For example, My freshman year at GMU I worked with C-RASC, I worked as an event planing research assistant researching ways to increase engagement in a time of mainly virtual interactions. While this was an interesting topic that I really enjoyed researching. Having to look into the numbers. Taking surveys and considering the results from the survey and managing different variables in terms of how many people of different respective age groups from which we had conducted our survey were engaged in our events. If I had done a little bit more research on effective research tools. I know I would have stumbled unto some information about utilizing Tidy data principle (every column is a variable, every row is an observation, every cell is a single value) I would have been able to organize my data a lot more and I would have come to my conclusions a lot easier than I actually did. The principles of Tidy data are important to understand because the principles, placement of data in rows and colums and how data is matched up with observations is what helps distinguish tiny data from other data simplification methods. For example messy data.

A couple of really good data organizing methods that I have personally utilized are Zotero which was introduced to me by one of my supervisors when I worked with CRASC/Star tides. It basically helps organize research, citations..etc and was really helpful in that I could access all the articles and journals. I was reading all in one place. Before Zotero, I was quite intimidated by other research managing applications so I utilized a excel sheet to organize my citations while, at first quite messy I did get a hang of it and it became a great. You can utilize tiny data, as I previously mentioned, do the dirty work in terms of organizing data. Following the principles will allow you to have to deal with numbers a lot less. That’s an A+ for me so, I would be working to learn more about how to utilize it correctly

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