After gathering data from your various sources; you will be expected to collate the data retrieved and present in a simple, orderly and understandable format; this is where data presentation and analysis come in.
Data presentation is the process of presenting your data with use of tables so that readers can easily read through and have clear understanding of the various data arranged or assembled in rows and columns.
Data analysis is the process of showing the relationships between data sets and variables with the use of various graphical formats and statistical tools.
Data can be presented as textual (the use of text to explain your data), tabular (the use of tables i.e., presenting your data in rows and columns) or diagrammatic (using diagrams such as bar charts, pie charts, histogram, ogive, arithmetic line graph) format or a combination of all three methods.
Below is the most commonly used format in most Higher Institutions in Africa.
Presentation and Analysis of Data
Presentation and Analysis of Base Data
Introduction to Data Presentation
Table Number: Title of Table
Table: Data Presentation
Decide on the format you intend to adopt: Here, you will have to decide on the type of table you will adopt. Would you prefer to use a three-column table (something simple), a four column or multiple columns? three column table comprises “response, frequency, percentage frequency”. Four column includes “response, frequency, percentage frequency, rank”. Multiples column could comprise “response, frequency, percentage frequency, mean deviation, standard deviation, rank etc.”
Your Caption: This involves knowing whether to write your caption in bold, capital letters or small letters with initial caps. The first caption can be in BOLD while sub-captions could be in Initial caps.
Table Fonts: The more details you present, the smaller your font size becomes; if you want your table big and bold, you will have to reduce details. This means that you will have to adopt either 3 or 4 column table rather than the complex tables. Another way to have more details but bold is to format your tables in landscape rather than portrait.
How to Analyze: At this point you will have to decide on your pattern of analysis. Do you want to use just text to analyze or will you include graphs, charts, pictures etc.
Note: You make use of statistical tools to analyze. The data you collect will be presented as figures (numbers) in the frequency column; while the data you have presented in frequency table is analyzed in the other columns where you have percentage frequencies, mean deviation, range, rank etc. In most cases you will have to explain (analyze) the information in the rows and columns in textual format for easy understanding by readers. This is where you breakdown the data in understandable way and narrate the outcome of the table on the tail-end of the whole analysis including the implications of the data collected and analyzed to your study.
Make sure your data covers all your research questions
Make sure to be consistent with your table format
Cross check to be sure your figures are all correct
Avoid typographical errors
Your tables must not break
Avoid reaching the page border line.
SAMPLE OF TABLE ANALYSIS
Table 4.2 Sex Distribution of Respondents
|Sex||Property owners||Estate surveyors and valuers||Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria||Tenants||Frequency||% Frequency|
Source: Field Survey, (2021).
Table 4.2 shows the sex distribution of respondents. Where out of 710 respondents who are Property Owners, Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Reals Estate Developers Association of Nigeria and Tenants; 175 and 105 respondents represent male and female property owners, 78 and 22 respondents represent male and female estate surveyors and valuers, 21 and 9 respondents represent male and female members of REDAN and 202 and 98 respondents represent male and female tenants respectively. The total males are 470 (67.04%) and females are 234 (32.96%). The implication of this is that there are more male respondents compared to their female counterparts.
Illustration of Data Presentation:
Note: The table below is a 7-column table that presents outcomes from responses which the researcher retrieved through various sources (questionnaire, interview, observation etc.) the first item is the main heading written in bold, this is followed with column titles and then the result (number of responses generated from each respondent). The source of your information comes below the table for future references or further investigation.
Table 4.8 Response on the Type of Property Occupied by Respondents in Wuse Zone 7, Abuja
|Type of property||Property owners||Estate surveyors and valuers||Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria||Tenants||Frequency||Rank|
Source: Field Survey (2021).
Note: The textual analysis is meant to give clear explanation of information presented in the above table. Each response must be explained one after the other. Sometimes it is necessary to mention each variable and then relate them to the frequencies. Once the frequency has been analyzed you can go ahead to rank. If the information in your table came from questionnaires distributed or vide interview/personal observation you have to indicate that the source was field survey, consequently should the information in your table be a product of an existing data you copied e.g., population results of a city, you will have to equally state the source; you cannot claim someone else’s information, that would be plagiarism.
Note: Most research require presentation of charts or graph for better understanding and clarity of data. You should decide whether to use graph, chart or photograph to nail the information you are trying to pass across. In all of these try to avoid repetition of your textual analysis in your graphical analysis. One of them should provide a broader meaning of the data you have gathered and presented in your tables.