Dummy Tables

We have looked at the following (in previous posts)

Next, let us look at dummy tables. Please note that I am following an order that I usually work myself through when I am developing a research project. It is not necessarily the order I went through during coursework but one that got distilled into me as I went on to do various research projects.

I usually like making my Dummy Tables  at this point. This is a practice that i developed over several research projects.

What are dummy tables?

I look at them as empty (not populated with data) tables or draft tables that I visualize about how I will look at the data.

Why do I do this?

I use this exercise to look at

  • How do I present the data
  • What data
  • What form of data (example: mean age, SD, or categories of age, etc)
  • I check to see how these may help me answer my research question. Do I have the data necessary and in the format necessary to answer my research question
  • Does the data format help me to run statistical tests that can help me estimate statistical significance

Note: I use the dummy tables to thus

  • Revisit my list of variables and make necessary revisions (add variables or delete variables)
  • Revisit my aims, my question and hypothesis

Thus, this is again a loop that is used to refine and consolidate whatever I have developed till date.

I am sharing a few thoughts on Dummy Tables. Please feel free to critically analyze, adapt and adopt these as necessary.

Personally, this step has helped me a lot during many projects to  cut out “fluff” and to make sure I have the variables I really need. 

Dummy Tables


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