Data Analysis

October 23, 2020 | Updated: January 27, 2021
Author: Paul Grinder, Okanagan College

This resource covers the following learning objectives: explain the uses and misuses of statistics; demonstrate an understanding of mean, median, mode, range, quartiles, percentiles, standard deviation, the normal curve, z scores, sampling error, and confidence intervals; graphically present data in the form of frequency tables, line graphs, bar graphs, and stem and leaf plots; and design and conduct a statistics project, analyze the data and communicate your observations about the data. This textbook was written for Adult Basic Education (ABE) Advanced Level Mathematics.

Subject Areas
Adult Basic Education, Math

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Data Analysis by Paul Grinder, Okanagan College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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Reviews (2) Avg: 4.45 / 5

Reza Vahidnia

Institution:BC Institute of TechnologyTitle/Position: Faculty/Instructor

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

The glossary provided at the beginning of the book well defines all the important statistical terms. This book introduces the major basic terms such as mean, median, mode and etc., that are widely used to describe data and its statistics. The examples provided to explain each statistical term make a lot of sense and are great to understand the concept. The book is well enriched with many great examples for different use cases and scenarios that will let the reader fully practice the materials covered.
I agree that the text covers the basics of data analysis and is a good source for someone who wants to begin learning statistics and data analysis (e.g., first year students).
However, the title of the book is a bit misleading. I would prefer a title such as "introductory data analysis" because only the basics of data analysis are discussed in this book. Many more advanced concepts are out of the scope.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

The diagrams are accurate and error-free. However, the tables and figures need to have captions that are missing in this book.

Content Accuracy Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Since the book discusses the basics of statistics which have been in place for many centuries and decades, it will not be obsolete and does not need to be updated regularly and within a short period of time.

Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

I totally agree with this statement. The book is written very clearly to the point and is very easy to understand. The many examples and questions are really helpful to clarify the purpose of each statistical term discussed in the book.

Clarity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The book starts with very basic and simple data description terms such as mean and median and then talks about more complex concepts such as normal curves. After reviewing all these necessary tools to describe the data in the first 6 units, the book explains their applications in analyzing survey data. So, there is a strong integrity and consistence between different chapters of the book.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Each unit of the course can be considered as a separate module. For example, if someone is somehow familiar with the concept and starts reading Unit 4, he/she will be able to follow the materials without the need to go back and forth to read the previous chapters.

Modularity Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

True. There is a logical connection between all the concepts and materials discussed in the book. It starts with basic terms and slowly moves to more complex topics.

Organization Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

There is no major distracting or confusing display feature in the book. My only comment is to include captions for the tables and figures so that the reader can better follow the book.

Interface Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

No spelling or grammatical error was found in the book.

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

Although this is a mathematical book, it reflects gender and age diversity very well in the examples.
The diversity regarding culture, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, and education is not really applicable to this mathematical book.
The book does not include any inappropriate or offensive language.

Cultural Relevance Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

Definitely yes! This book can be a great resource for first year students who want to become familiar with the basics of data analysis and practice.
This book has plenty of great examples, quizzes and exercises (with solution) that can serve the math and engineering instructors.

Peyman Yousefi

Institution:University of British ColumbiaTitle/Position: Lecturer

Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary

As book titles are so general, the reader is left in doubt about the book's content. Perhaps a title like "an introduction to data analysis" or an implication of the book's purpose is more appropriate.
You may wish to organize the index into subsections to make it more specific. A modification of the format of the index can be made on page i as well. There is a definite compression of text on the right side of the page.
Unit 8's title is "statistical project", but no teaching is provided in this unit. Instead of a book unit, it is more like an activity unit. This can be done by combining unit 8 with an activity in unit 7.
Ultimately, all of the learning outcomes indicated on page ii are covered in the text. It is however questionable to what extent they were achieved. To what extent students are able to conduct and analyze statistics projects as a result of the content of this book?
For example, one of the learning outcomes is an understanding of statistical concepts such as z scores, sampling errors, and confidence intervals, while these three concepts are explained very briefly in the book and may leave many students with questions. The student would better understand the subject if more explanations were provided and the rationale behind the concept was explained.

Comprehensiveness Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased

It appears that the content is generally accurate. Modifying the diagram format is possible, however. My personal opinion is that authors should be careful with the terminology they use. It is common to use mean and average interchangeably in the text. While in statistic they are the same but there are some differences between these two. It would be more accurate and prevent students from being misled or confused if more details are provided and the assumption of the book is stated.

Content Accuracy Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement

Basic concepts for data analysis are presented in the book along with simple examples. So it cannot be described as a novel/up-to-date book. In another sense however, adding sections and information would not be difficult since this book has room for advancement and improvement in the future.

Relevance Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used

A majority of the components in the document are well-defined, and examples are included. Units 6 and 7 could be discussed more. It is necessary to have more supporting information about z-scores, sampling errors, and confidence intervals in order to fully understand these concepts. It is important for students to be able to solve problems, but what is the point of memorizing/utilizing something you don't understand and don't know the science or rational behind it?
Further explanation and details would be helpful in unit 5 (pages 33 and 34) when providing definitions and examples for different types of histograms. The figure and diagrams could also be presented in a better way, like numbering, so they are easier to navigate.
There are boxes in the text with an “!” sign. Those boxes, to my understanding, summarize the major points of the book. In this way, if someone doesn't have time to read the whole thing, they can just review the boxes. However, only reading the boxes leaves the reader with questions, since some of the definitions have been overlooked and must be found in the text.

Clarity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework

The authors did a good job in this book in keeping the terminology consistent.

Consistency Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

No subunits are included in this book's 8 units. As the book is relatively short with a limited number of units, smaller subsections may not be as crucial as they are in large books. Some subunits, however, might be helpful for students to navigate topics inside each unit.

Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion

It has a good structure, but the flow could be improved. There is a general straight-forwardness to the language of the book that sometimes overwhelms the flow. Writing in a story-telling format would be helpful for student to stay connected to the content.

Organization Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader

-There is no justification on the lines.
-The font of titles seems to be “Arial” while the general font is “Times New Roman”.
-A more detailed explanation of the figures and diagrams would be helpful. Diagrams and figures should have their titles at the bottom instead of the top and be numbered like Figure 1.1.
-It is possible to remove a lot of the empty space inside the book to have a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly book.
-There is a reference to page 69 at the end of all exercises for finding the answer. Referring to the precise page would be preferable. (Also in page 13 there is a typo of 6969 instead of 69)
-page 10, exercise 2, there is inconsistency in numbers, some of them have the \$ sign, some of them don’t.

Interface Rating: 3 out of 5

Q: The text contains no grammatical errors

An expert with related expertise may comment on this section.
(Below rating (5/5) is selected to be able to move to next section and is not related to the subject)

Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5

Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds

The book utilized a variety of examples. These are mostly college- or Canada-related topics, without specific points. I, however, think keeping students' minds away from controversial subjects would be better (for instance at page 58, number 4).

Cultural Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5

Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?

Overall, I think this book would be useful for self-learning of high school or first-year students. Depending on the first-year course, it can also be covered in the first two weeks of the semester.