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Statistics Open For All
SOFA - Statistics Open For All
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help:getting_started

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Getting Started

Demonstration Data

Before analysing your own data, it can be helpful to play with the demonstration data provided with SOFA Statistics. Click the “Enter/Edit Data” button to get started.

This brings up the data selection dialog. Here you can look at existing data tables or make new ones. Here we just want to look at the demonstration data table “demo_tbl”. Click on “Open”.

Here you can see the data we will be test analysing using SOFA Statistics. Note the pale blue column - the background colour indicates the field is read-only. Typically, read-only fields are autonumbered or timestamps.

Click on “Close” when you're finished looking.

Making a Simple Report Table

On the main SOFA form, click on “Report Tables”,

Let's start with a simple report table of Age Group vs Country. NB all of this data is fictitious and designed to allow features of the program to be demonstrated.

  1. For “Table Type” select “Crosstabs”. A cross tabulation shows one or more variables against one or more other variables e.g. Age Group in the rows and Country in the columns.
  2. We need to add a row so click on “Add” under the “Rows” label
  3. Select “Age Group” and either double click it or select “OK”.

Under the “Columns” label click on “Add” and add Country.

In the demonstration pane below you will see a rough illustration of what the table will look like. If you want to see the actual table, click on “Run”.

If “Add to report” is ticked, the output will also be saved to the end of the output file specified at the bottom of the form.

Extra Configuration of Report Table

Next you may want to configure the rows and/or columns. Let's add a total column and columns for row and column percentages.

  1. Click on “Config” under the “Columns” label
  2. Tick “Total” under the “Misc” heading
  3. Tick “Column %” and “Row %” under the “measures” heading
  4. Click on “OK” to see changes in demonstration table. NB to see actual results, click on “Run”.

If you click “Run” with “Add to report” ticked, you can view the result by clicking on the “View” button. This will open your default web browser so you can see the output.

The styling of your table can also be changed - here are some examples of different report tables:

Documentation on making report tables is extended in Making Report Tables

Anova

Click on the “Statistics” button on the main SOFA form.

Then click on the “CONFIGURE TEST” button (ANOVA should already be selected).

Let's look at whether there is a difference between the average ages in the 3 different countries. NB all the data here is fictitious and only for example purposes.

  1. Select the variable that is averaged (the one we think might vary between groups). In this case, select “Age”.
  2. Select the variable with the groups. In this case, select “Country” and then select “Group A” and “Group B”.
  3. Click on “Run” to see results.

In this case, there is probably a real difference (p has a vary small value). Looking at the mean age for each group and the distribution for each group will help us decide how important the difference is for the purpose at hand. NB a difference can be statistically significant and clinically/politically/practically etc insignificant.

Common Confusions/Problems

  • SOFA likes data in a particular structure (note - SOFA can't handle multiple response questions)
  • SOFA won't import the raw data or mangles it somehow
  • Some variables aren't displayed when doing analyses expecting numbers (hint - the numbers were imported as text for some reason - more below)

Get all the details here: importing and structuring_data_for_analysis

Basically, small things can trip you up but they are usually simple to fix. E.g. being unable to import, missing values not being imported from CSVs, being unable to analyse by a variable such as gender because gender is split into more than one column etc. Have a quick read of the details in the two links above and you'll be back in business in no time. And there are more help options here: http://www.sofastatistics.com/help.php

Final Comments

There is a lot more to SOFA Statistics than what is demonstrated here. Hopefully this is enough to encourage you to try different features out. Of course, if you have any questions, ask them in the community discussion group Discussion Group

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help/getting_started.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/09 16:05 (external edit)