Equinox has many data files and file-types within its holdings. Help with Data provides guidance on what tools can be used in order to successfully view data and GIS files and where to locate additional information related to the use of statistical software packages, and software utilities for viewing a variety of file types.
Data are the facts and figures that are collected, analyzed, and summarized
for presentation and interpretation. Data can be collected as part of sample
survey methods, which are designed to answer a question, or in order to be able
to determine characteristics of the population being surveyed.
Data can be either quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data measures either how much or how many of something, and qualitative data provides labels, or names, for categories of like items. Suppose that a particular study is interested in characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, and annual income for a sample of 100 individuals. These characteristics would be called the variables of the study, and data values for each of the variables would be associated with each individual. Thus, the data values of 28, male, single, and $30,000 would be recorded for a 28-year-old single male with an annual income of $30,000. With 100 individuals and 4 variables, the data set would have 100 x 4=400 items. In this example, age and annual income are quantitative variables; the corresponding data values indicate how many years and how much money for each individual. Gender and marital status are qualitative variables. The labels male and female provide the qualitative data for gender, and the labels single, married, divorced, and widowed indicate marital status.
A raw data file is the series of numbers within a file that represents information that has been collected from a survey. A raw data file that is extracted from Equinox has an associated syntax file for use with a statistical package, such as SAS, STATA or SPSS. Users of the system can perform their own analysis on the raw data file using one of the statistical packages noted, or other available statistical packages, including Excel.
Data types that can be extracted from Equinox include microdata, statistical data, and geographic information systems (GIS) files. Microdata, also referred to as raw data can be retrieved from Equinox, statistical files in Excel format or .ivt format (for use with the Beyond 20/20 viewer software), and GIS files, can also be downloaded directly from Equinox.
The librarian at your institution who is responsible for data can provide guidance on which statistical programs are available for you to use with data extracted from Equinox.
A number of software utilities and tools are required in order to use the rich data and information resources within Equinox. The statistical software packages for which Equinox generates a syntax files for include SPSS, SAS and STATA. Users of Equinox might have access to some or all of the statistical software listed, depending on the software utilities available at their local institution.
GIS files can be viewed and manipulated using GIS software such as ESRI ArcGIS.
The following statistical software packages can be used to perform data analysis with data that has been extracted from Equinox. If you are unfamiliar with statistical software, the web site of the software companies might be a useful resource to learn about the product(s) available.
File holdings of the Equinox are available in a variety of formats, including Beyond 20/20, Excel, and PDF. Viewers for these file formats are available for download, and can be accessed from the following sites.