What is Data Analysis?
Data Analysis is the process of systematically analyzing, evaluating & application of statistical and logical tools to better interpret data in a meaningful way.
Data analysis is the most critical step for every field of study, especially statistics. As per a group of researchers ,Shamoo and Resnik (2003) the diverse analytical measures “provide a way of drawing inductive inferences from data and distinguishing the signal (the phenomenon of interest) from the noise (statistical fluctuations) present in the data”.
Data analysis in increasingly being used for qualitative research methodology & involves statistical procedures. Mostly, data analysis becomes a complicated process to handle with data being collected, analyzed & reported continuously , all at one time within limited span. “Indeed, researchers generally analyze for patterns in observations through the entire data collection phase”. (Savenye, Robinson, 2004).
The form of the analysis is identified by the availability of diverse qualitative approaches available for the researchers to choose from ,including : focus groups, field study, ethnography study analysis, oral history, biography, unobtrusive research) & the form of data available (field notes, documents, audiotape, videotape)
Data analysis is largely dependent upon the validity & completion of data to ensure data integrity. Data integrity lies in the proper analysis & accurate interpretation of findings. Improper statistical analyses may leads to incorrect scientific findings & delude casual readers.