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# Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) in the data analysis process

Module B2 Session 13
SADC Course in Statistics

Learning Objectives
students should be able to Construct a dot plot for a numeric variable
split by a categorical variable

Apply EDA concepts to a large dataset Explain the use of Excels pivot tables
and filters, in the EDA process

## Explain the importance of EDA

for data checking and at the start of the analysis

Relate EDA
to the principles of official statistics .

## EDA with small and large data sets

Session 12:
Stressed the importance of EDA Introduced 2 new tools (dot and stem) Practiced with small data sets

## In this session we scale up

Look at large data sets The tools do not scale up easily But the concepts do scale up EDA becomes even more crucial

## Most data sets are large!

at least compared with teaching examples
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## The essence of a stem and leaf plot

The leaf shows the next digit. This can be useful in the exploration phase

data 5.3 5.4 6.0 .. 11.1 11.9 Stem and leaf plot Stacked dot plot

## What are the key points?

We look at individual data points
not summaries at this stage this is general for EDA

## The stem and leaf plot in particular

keeps the actual numbers as far as possible This can be important

## How to explore this value

Can we do a stem and leaf plot?
By hand in Excel but there are 16628 values!

Even if automated, that is too many! The essence of a stem and leaf plot
is to look at all the possible values

## Try a pivot table

a powerful feature in Excel used previously on categorical data

Some results

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## What do you deduce?

There are oddities in rounding
Perhaps enumerator differences Can this question be answered to 1%?

So what should be done before analysis? First look further at the data Excel can help it can drill down to examine individual records The concept:
Use the table to look for oddities Then examine them in more detail

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## Drilling down an example

Make the 6 corresponding to 2% the active cell Then double click to give the detail

4 of these values are from the same village so same enumerator To put your footer here go to View > Header and Footer

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## What do you conclude technique/results

Technique
Stem and leaf plots when looking at small datasets Pivot tables when datasets are large

## But the principle is general

Numbers must be looked at carefully! The principle can be adapted for the data and explored effectively in Excel

Results
Did enumerators have different interpretations
of the precision required in the percentages This needs further exploration and the analysis needs to take account of this
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## Another new element in this session

Exploratory analysis includes
looking for oddities in the data

## Unexplained oddities cause variation

that can make it difficult to detect the pattern because they add unnecessary noise to the data

## How do you tame the variation

One way is to examine related variables This is important in the analysis
the next slide is a repeat from Session 3

## It is also a key weapon in data exploration

and is covered in the practical
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## Slide from Module B2 Session 3

To do good statistics you must
fight the curse of variation

## Two main strategies to overcome variation 1. Take enough observations

In the Tanzania survey there were 3223 households just from this one region

## 2. Measure characteristics that explain variation

Variation itself is not necessarily the problem Variation you do not understand is the problem

## Here we start understanding variation

at the exploration stage
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## Practical three parts

Tanzania data
practice what has been done in these slides

## Dot plots split by a factor

demonstration and practice

Swaziland data
apply the concepts checking factors as well as numeric columns

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## Points for review after the practical

Looking for individual problems
And surprising patterns

Exploratory graphics
need to help the analyst and data checker see dot plots on next slide

## Tables are also useful

especially with the facility to drill down

## Look at individual variables

and at records as a whole

## Trust your common sense

It is useful to estimate results And question the computer if they are very different
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## Dot plots - yield by variety

Outliers (typing errors) are clear, but only because of the 2nd variable They are not outliers overall
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## EDA is a continuous process

EDA effectively is a continuation of the data checking process The example on the previous slide shows
how some oddities only become clear once the analysis is undertaken

## This continues into the formal analysis

where it involves looking at the residuals

## They are the unexplained variation

As discussed in Session 3!

## So analysis is not just a set of rules

It is a thoughtful process Where you become the data detective!
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Next steps:

## 1. Look at the questionnaire

2. Select these records
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## Seems clear enough. Zeros and blanks still a puzzle

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Missing also

## Too young and all the same

Crop code not recognised

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## i.e. serious problems with the whole record

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## Dot plot of area by Presence

Odd crop areas were ALL associated with odd codes for the column PRESENCE

It was found to be a data transfer problem with one byte missing in these records
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## Checking data quality and EDA

Where Before data entry During data entry Before analysis During analysis Why How By Whom supervisor To ensure Manual complete data check set received To highlight anomalies Double check Filter, dot plots etc As above

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## Importance principles of official statistics

Principle 2: Professional standards
It is unprofessional to analyse the data and report results without exploring critically at all stages

## Principle 4: Prevention of misuse

We risk misusing the data unless we explore the data critically

## Principle 5: Sources of statistics

Includes a requirement to avoid undue burden on respondents We must process the data fully and effectively. This needs EDA Otherwise the burden imposed on respondents is to some extent wasted
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## Can you now:

Apply EDA concepts to a large dataset Explain the importance of EDA for data checking and at the start of the analysis Relate EDA to the principles of official statistics

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Now you can organise the data for analysis And then do an exploratory analysis

We show next how the analysis is easy IF your objectives are clear

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