August brings into sharp focus and a furious boil everything I've been listening to in the late spring and summer--Henry Rollins
Perhaps I can blame it on fewer distractions but I do my best reading when faced with long stretches of quiet and solitude. I have a stack of books to get through, several from a course I am teaching in the fall at a local university--Understanding Data.
Maya Angelou is attributed to saying something like, "When you know better, you do better." I do a fair share of pro bono work teaching the basics of survey design and how to clean data upstream from the fancy dashboard visualizations that everyone is clamoring for. And I spend a non-trivial amount of time learning how to think about analysis.
When you have been working in a field like medical writing or healthcare consulting you realize the secret sauce is scalability. Do you want to be a data mechanic constantly repairing and fixing poorly designed questions or do you crave higher level collaborations? I have noticed many colleagues falling in with the status quo and giving their clients what they have asked for. Poorly designed or articulated outcomes questions from multiple choice surveys or a data question only interested in probing or interrogating a single source of data.
You can dance around to the music provided to you like a little monkey--or become curious. Is there a better way? Am I measuring what I think I am measuring or just grabbing low hanging bananas?
The process, even with Tableau Prep can be quite laborious but is the juice worth the squeeze? I would say yes for prepping your data--but maybe not when formatting your survey data.
The perfect format for most analytics is ranking data. We want to be able to create a hierarchy of sentiment not only between questions but also between respondents. In Likert, a 5 or even a 7 response shouldn't be compared to a similar response on a different question. Just because a respondent selects Strongly Agree for example can we make assumptions that the degree of agreement here is the same as on a different question?
No. No we can't. But if we use probabilities like the ones we can generate from asking respondents to rank responses--we now know how they prioritized their behavior or sentiment.
And ranking or rating questions can be more straightforward to analyze.
Do you have questions regarding cleaning data and what tools are available?
Join us on August 14th for a Healthcare Tableau User Group meeting. You can register below...
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”