We have looked at the following (in previous posts)
- The Research Hypothesis
- The Research Question
- Research Aims and Review of Literature
- Research Variables
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.