Understanding Data and Basic Statistics

28 Oct 2019 09:00AM - 29 Oct 2019 05:00PM
RES sponsored events

Location: Birkbeck, University of London

Course Outline

This practical, two-day workshop will present an overview of the manipulations of data that are often required prior to statistical analysis. Topics will include dealing with outliers, combining data from different sources, calculating annual average growth rates, weighting and smoothing data and constructing indexes. It also covers basic statistical methods used in describing data such as measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation and the use of dummy variables in regression analysis. 

Topics Covered

Day One - Data Manipulation

Morning - Common problems in using data

This session will begin with a discussion of data as samples from populations, observing data and detecting outliers, and issues that arise in merging data different sources. It will then discuss methods to summarise data, both cross sectionally and through time. Estimating growth rates involves an introduction to the use of logarithmic and exponential functions. The session will end by presenting methods to construct indexes, including Laspeyres, Paasche, Fisher and Tornqvist indexes.

Afternoon – Exercises on data manipulation using Excel

This will involve exercises on each of the topics covered in the morning session. The tutor will give an overview of how the exercises should be tackled. Participants will then be asked to do these at their own pace, with the tutor assisting when required. Full answers to the exercises will be given at the end of the session.

Day Two - Statistical Inference

Morning – Methods for statistical inference

This session will introduce the ideas of sampling distribution, the normal and t distributions, a decision framework for testing hypotheses, correlation and the method of ordinary least squares regressions.

Afternoon – Exercises on statistical inference using STATA

In this session the participants will do some exercises by replicating the commands used by the tutor and some additional exercises on their own. The tutor will feedback on answers during the session.