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Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:58 pm
by skyservice_330
Ok, here is the situation...

I'm currently working/volunteering with a professional association that has over 1000 members. When someone joins they fill out a registration form that asks a number of different questions- sex, age, marital status, literacy/education level, profession, computer competency- among other things. I have been asked to put together a 'membership profile' or 'membership snapshot.' Essentially, do some analysis of the membership data. For example, the very basic 'how many men/women do we have' and 'what is the average age of our membership' to the more complicated 'what is the average education level for women in our association between 18-35.'

Originally, I thought I would use SPSS but now I am wondering if I can do it in Excel or a combination of Excel and some fancy calculator/pen and paper work.

Any insight is appreciated.

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:21 pm
by mt99


Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Thread starter):
n Excel or a combination of Excel and some fancy calculator/pen and paper work.

Sounds like you need to press "F1" in Excel.. and search for "Pivot Tables".. Invest the 30 minutes to understand them.. and you will be set.

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:47 pm
by nighthawk


Quoting Mt99 (Reply 1):
Sounds like you need to press "F1" in Excel.. and search for "Pivot Tables".. Invest the 30 minutes to understand them.. and you will be set.

I cant say I have ever used pivot tables in Excel, but in this instance an Access database sounds like the right tool for the job.

Enter all your data into the database then create a custom report for each of your needs, Access will provide you with wizards to easily filter out the data you need and perform calculations on columns.

Pivot tables in excel may offer something similar, but asi said I have never used them.

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:53 pm
by MCOflyer
I'd go with excel. This come from my 6+ yrs I've used this program. Also, if you use it, purchase a college book that people used for class (microcom applications).

KH

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:57 pm
by mt99


Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 2):
Pivot tables in excel may offer something similar, but asi said I have never used them.

Yes they do.. and they are much simpler than Access - but you have to spend a few minutes to understand what you are doing.

Its basically a simple way of sorting. Not as powerfull as access, but if what you need is fairly simple.. as this case sounds.. pivot tables will do this in about 2 seconds.

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:35 pm
by MOBflyer
Access is the way to go!

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:43 pm
by Rj111
Download SQL Express. To hell with Access.

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:05 pm
by David L


Quoting RJ111 (Reply 6):
Download SQL Express. To hell with Access.

That's what I would have said.  Smile

However, for someone with some experience of Access and/or Excel, learning about SQL Server from scratch might require too much investment. If this is likely to be an ongoing requirement, I'd recommend that investment, though. I have a couple of SQL Server 2005 servers running on my PCs (one for development and one "live") and the same with SQL Server 2008 and I use them for all sorts of things. The fact that it's still very similar to Sybase is a big plus, too.

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:10 pm
by Starbuk7
For tracking the items that you say you want to track, an Access Database sound to be the way to go. I use Excel more for tracking number and calculation type databases.

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:26 pm
by ronglimeng
My wife and I use Excel to keep track of our expenses so our spreadsheet or "database" would be about the same size as what you're contemplating.

I don't know anything about SPSS but I have some familiarity with Access, and I prefer to work with Excel. I can pretty well do any kind of search I need with the Excel Data/ Sort command and it seems more "hands-on".

The only possible disadvantage that I can see with Excel is that inputting the data might not be as controlled as with a real database program..

RE: Analyzing Membership Data- Spss Or Excel?

Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:42 pm
by David L


Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 9):
and I prefer to work with Excel. I can pretty well do any kind of search I need with the Excel Data/ Sort command and it seems more "hands-on".

For occasional queries that's fine but you have to be aware of what state the data is in before each query. With a relational database, such as Access or SQL Server, you can run queries in any order you want, any time you want. Stored procedures simplify things even more.

As I said, it really depends on how often the analysis needs to be done and for how long it's going to continue.