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Steps to Analyze Variables in a Dataset

## Examine the variables in your dataset

1. Examine the variables in your dataset to ensure that you understand what each variable is measuring.

2. Which variables are categorical or quantitative? Discrete or continuous?

3. How do you interpret the units of measurement?

4. Brainstorm potential relationships that you might expect to see between the variables in your dataset.

5. Which relationships might be important or useful to discover?

6. Do you have any guesses about what type of relationships might exist?

7. If you could accurately model the relationship between certain variables, how could you use that information to apply to business/policy/management decisions?

8. Use methods of descriptive statistics to summarize individual variables in your dataset.

9. Present your summary in tables and/or graphs using methods practiced in this course.

10. You do not have to summarize every aspect of every variable.

11. Some variables will end up being more important to your model(s); you will want to include relatively more summary information about these variables.

12. Use methods of descriptive statistics to summarize important relationships in your dataset.

13. Present your summary in tables (e.g. cross-tabulations) and/or graphs using methods practiced in this course.

14. Remember that how you investigate relationships will depend on the types of variables (categorical v. categorical, categorical v. quantitative, quantitative v.

quantitative).

15. Develop a set of single linear regression models (at least 2) to further investigate the relationships between key variables. Estimate the coefficients in these models.

16. Which relationship(s) is/are valuable to investigate at this level? What do you learn from your regression estimation(s) that you couldn’t learn from the descriptive methods in step 4?

17. Develop a set of multiple regression models (at least 1) to further investigate the relationships between key variables. Estimate the coefficients in these models.

18. Carefully consider which variables to include in your model(s) based on the guidelines discussed in this course.

19. What do you learn from your multiple regression estimation(s) that you couldn’t learn from the single regression estimation(s) in step 5?

20. Compile a report of your analysis and findings—including potential applications of your findings—into a business memo.