Data preparation guidelines
The data should preferably be in Microsoft Excel, Access or some statistical software format. Other spreadsheet or database formats may be acceptable, please enquire. We cannot accept data in a text editor format, such as in Word.
1) Rows are subjects (patients, animals, plots, parts, etc), columns are variables (weight, blood pressure, price, category, time to failure, etc).
2) Variable names should be up to 8 characters without spaces or any special signs such as %, /, & etc. Please, provide a separate list of these short names and their full meaning.
3) Each cell should include one value only.
4) Please do not use text values for any variables you may want analysed. (You can keep text for patient ID's (not names) or your comments, but we are not going to analyse those.) Otherwise code any text values by numbers (e.g. 1-male, 2-female) and use the numbers in your main spreadsheet. Provide your coding table separately.
5) If you have any missing values in your data, either do not code them, or provide the missing value codes separately.
The above data format will save a lot of time. A statistician has to spend time rearranging your data, and therefore this becomes a cost to yourself.