Blue-footed Boobies from the Galapagos


Latest news:


More info:


Science Fun

Brian's Class Materials- SPRING 2008 - SEYS 778

SEYS 778 Home

Spring 2008

 SEYS 778 – Seminar Research in Science Education II

Wednesday 7:10 pm to 9:40 pm

Powdermaker Hall Room 020

Data Entry Using Open Office Base and Calc


(Click here for the video demos that go with this tutorial)

Data entry is an extremely important step in the research process.  If it is not done properly, missing and incorrect data can result.  When large numbers of surveys or test scores need to be entered by hand, the data entry process becomes even more important.    

Please note:  If you are collecting certain types of qualitative data, e.g. interviews, content analysis, observations, you will be analyzing your data differently.  There are software applications available for qualitative data such as N.U.D.I.S.T. (commercial software) and Weft QDA (free and open source) and I will post a tutorial for these later.  

There are many software applications that can be used for data entry and analysis.  A lot depends on what is available.  If you have a favorite statistics program you would like to use, that's fine.  These are just suggestions and links that might be helpful.  Here are a few possible options:

Possible Data Entry Options

1)  Create a database and form in SPSS and enter your data directly into SPSS.  This is the ideal method but it requires you to have a licensed copy of SPSS.  Queens College does have a site license for SPSS and it is available in the Campus computer labs.  Students can also purchase SPSS at a reduced price.  
2)  Create a database and form in Microsoft Access and enter your data.  You can then import the data in Excel and SPSS for further data analysis.  Unfortunately Microsoft Access is always not included in Microsoft Office.  Another problem is that you may not have the latest version of Excel.
3)  Create a database and form in Base and enter your data.  You can then import the data into Calc or Excel, and finally SPSS for further data analysis. Base and Calc are free, open source software applications.  They are also compatible with Microsoft Office.  You can obtain the very latest versions plus any extensions you might want.  The database and spreadsheet files can be exported in a variety of formats that can be used by SPSS or other statistics software.  This is the option I am recommending for most people.  
4)  One other possibility is to collect your data online using web based applications such as surveymonkey or phpesp.  If you do this, you basically "outsource" the data entry to the participants in your study.  You can then export the data and then pull it into a spreadsheet or SPSS later.  Of course, your participants would have to all have to access to computers to complete the survey or exam.  
5)  If you don't have much data, you can enter your data directly into OpenStat.

This tutorial is going to use the tools mentioned in 3), i.e, Open Office.  A subsequent tutorial will deal with data analysis using SPSS and Excel.  

Tip:  Throughout this tutorial you may need to "right click" with your mouse.  Macs do not have right and left mouse buttons but you can still "right click" with a Mac.  You should hold down the "control" key and click, when you need to right click when using a Mac.

Step 1 - Download and install Open Office.  Visit, click on "Get" and follow the directions.  

Step 2 -  Launch Base

Step 3 - Create a database using the Database wizard
Step 4 - Create a form to enter data into your database table
You may now be asking, why did we go to all of the trouble of creating a form with the drop down lists?  If you have lots of data to enter, forms make it much easier and also help to ensure that you get complete and clean data.  Typing data directly into a table results in many errors and omissions.  

Step 5 - View the data in a spreadsheet, OpenOffice CalcStep 6 - After going through this tutorial, you can also view a video demonstration of how I set up a different database table and form.  I would recommend that you play around with this a bit and then create your database and form.

Step 7 - More than one source of data and multiple tables

If you are going to have several sources of data from the same group of participants you may want to create tables for each data source and then link them with a common field, e.g. the ID.  You do NOT have to do this as you can do most things with one simple table.