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Chapter 18: Collect, organise and summarise data

18.1 Introduction

If you give a presentation and you wanted to know what your audience thought of it, you could use a feedback sheet with the three faces shown in the picture. This is a simple form of a questionnaire. Questionnaires, interviews, observation and uses databases are methods for collecting data. The first step in a statistical process is data collection.

In this chapter, we will look at data collection and at the steps that follow, namely: Organising data (bringing it together in a systematic and useful way) and summarising data, which allows us to focus on the essential information in a data set, while disregarding unimportant information.

These steps prepare the data so that it is ready to be formatted and used in ways that are easy to communicate and understand. That will be covered in the next chapter.