Chapter 6: Handling Data I: Preparations
Having obtained both individual and relational data, the next step is to prepare it for analysis. This involves entering, cross-checking, and possibly transforming the responses. We’ll cover the relational responses first, both in preparing them for computer entry and in the initial processing. We’ll then turn to how to enter and transform individual characteristics to turn them into relational data. I PREPARING RELATIONAL DATA 6.1 Entering and cross-checking responses Once you have your network survey written, according to the four principles of construction (content, context, confidentiality, and convenience), the next step is to administer the survey. To administer the survey, we simply mean to hand it out and collect the responses. But even this might not be quite that simple, as you may have to take some time to explain it to members of the group and you may need to remind some members that it’s important; it may take some gentle prompting to make sure they get it done in a timely fashion. Once the responses are in hand, you’ll need to prepare the data so that it can be processed by the computer. This means entering the responses as given and then cross-checking them. For example, if Bob says he goes to Mari for advice, we check to see whether Mari also reports that Bob comes to her. If so, then the relation is most likely correct. If there is any discrepancy (say Mari does not report that Bob comes to her, even though Bob says he does)...
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