I Tried to Analyze my Data Myself, Can You Review my Results?

I have had a number of doctoral students call me with a question something like this: I purchased the student version of SPSS. I was able to calculate the mean and the frequency and percent for my variables, and I even tried to compare my independent and dependent variables with an ANOVA, but I don’t know if I did it right. Would you please review my work and see if I did it right?

As you might imagine, my answer is something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, but I do not review or comment on analyses performed by others”. When asked why, I often answer with an analogy. Suppose you are a professional chef. Now, suppose that someone comes to you and says “A friend of mine told me how to make this wonderful recipe, but I am not sure if I did it right, would you please try this and let me know if I did it right? Now, I am no professional chef, but I suspect that unless the chef is the one that actually roles up his or her sleeves and makes the dish, he or she will not be able to comment on whether or not the cooking was done properly. So, by analogy, unless I am the one that actually does the analysis, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on the results.

One comment on “I Tried to Analyze my Data Myself, Can You Review my Results?
  1. Good Day Sir,

    I am a fresh graduate of Statistics and Research and I have done thesis consultations for 3 years now 2 years as a student and 1 year as a freelance statistical consultant. And I was struck with this article. Someone like your caliber refuse to critic/comment other people’s data analysis. Well people have different opinions and strategies on how to analyze data. And I agree with you that it is better to leave other people’s data analysis alone and create your own analysis.

    As of now I am new to this blogging stuff and I was looking for sites like yours whom I can look up to. Well sort of an inspiration for me. Well continue creating articles like this because newbies and pro statisticians alike can learn from your articles.

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