Data, continued

Below are some things to think about as you choose a data set and question.

  • What is the ideal data for my question?
  • What actual data is out there that I can get?
  • If your searching doesn’t find much, ask Prof Fletcher, Andy (PLA) and/or research librarians for help
  • What will the limitations on my hypotheses be if I don’t have the ideal data?
  • Should I choose something else?

Once you have chosen your data, also consider these questions:

  • Can I get the data in to Stata?
  • Do the data make sense?
  • Check for missing observations, strange values for means, variances, minima or maxima, etc.
  • Do I know what the variables mean? (Have I read the meta-data supporting the files such as documentation and codebooks?)
  • If I have to join two datasets, have I matched up observations properly?

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