Foundational Statistics for Decision Support

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This course provides the foundation of statistical analysis, focusing solely on descriptive statistics and the use of statistics in institutional research.

Core Lessons

  • Characteristics of Variables
  • Summaries of Data I
  • Summaries of Data II 

Task Modules and Exercises

Describe the Respondents: Uses descriptive statistics to examine survey data to determine the demographics of survey respondents.

Summarize an Issue with Missing Data: Demonstrates techniques and strategies for dealing with missing data.

Summarizing Categorical Data: Uses categorical data to examine student learning profiles (number of students per major, identifying the most popular major, and the demographics of students within that major).

Working with Survey Data – Student Retention: Demonstrates how to use survey data to look at student retention patterns.

Interpreting Data Appropriately: Demonstrates how to run basic descriptive statistics in Excel; using mean, median and mode to examine and explain a particular variable.

Benchmarking: Demonstrates how to use descriptive statistics to analyze benchmark data and arrive at conclusions.

Knowledge & Skills Taught

  • ​Understanding mean, median, mode
  • Understanding standard deviation
  • Using the data dictionary
  • Dealing with missing data
  • Sorting and filtering data
  • Recoding data
  • Identifying key variables
  • Analyzing variable relationships
  • Preparing descriptive statistics in Excel
  • Using the Excel Analysis Tool Pack
  • Combing data from multiple data files
  • Creating a cross-tabulation table
  • Creating a histogram
  • Creating a box and whisker plot
  • Creating pie charts
  • Creating bar charts
  • Benchmarking

Course fee:

$700 ($600 for AIR members)