About Statkon Services

Statkon supports postgraduate (PhD, Masters, Honours, BTech Honours) students conducting quantitative research which will be used in a thesis or research article. The research must be for a degree registered with UJ and be supervised by a UJ staff member. The research project must be approved by a Department or Faculty research, postgraduate and/or ethics committee.

Statkon supports UJ staff conducting quantitative research which has been approved by a relevant UJ research committee. The project must have academic relevance and value (see below for exclusions).

Statkon does not provide support for the following:

  • Undergraduate research projects
  • A research project registered through another academic institution as a result of the principal researcher being employed by that University but to which a UJ staff member is affiliated as a secondary researcher
  • The student research project of a UJ staff member who is registered as a postgraduate student at another academic institution
  • A project from which a staff member (or postgrad student) gains commercially. This compromises UJs software licensing agreement with SPSS, stating the software will be used for educational purposes only
  • Course evaluations
  • Market research
  • Either research or market research conducted by a UJ registered student who is doing research under contractual obligation of another organization i.e. research is for that organization, not UJ
  • External projects (not affiliated to UJ)
  • Projects with a qualitative research design


What support does Statkon offer?

Services offered by Statkon include:  

  • Research design: Advice on survey and experimental design and methodology; Advice on sampling design and sample size determination; Advice on questionnaire design
  • Capturing of survey data – questionnaires or data forms – for analysis (this service is outsourced)
  • Preparation and hosting of online surveys
  • Statistical analysis of quantitative data; assistance with regard to the interpretation of statistical results

Further details and conditions of these services are provided below. All services are subject to available capacity. At present all services except data capture and online survey preparation and administration are free to UJ researchers and postgraduate students. 

Service is provided by appointment with a consultant. The staff member or postgraduate student can request an appointment for research design, to hand in data, and/or to receive assistance with analysis or feedback on analysis.

The research design appointment

The purpose of the research design meeting is to review and evaluate an established research design. It is not intended to get ideas for a poorly conceptualized research project.  Postgraduate students requesting a research design meeting must be in a position to submit a departmental or faculty approved research proposal and data collection instrument approved by their supervisor before the appointment with Statkon. 

As a result of the research design appointment the Statkon consultant will rate the project as follows:  

 

Rating

Criteria

Green

Well conceptualized study; research is relevant; if there is a model it is supported by literature; methodology is commensurate with theoretical constructs; the proposed methods (e.g. sampling method) are feasible; variables are clearly defined and operationalised; there is evidence of valid and reliable instruments; the questionnaire has strong structure, clear wording, accurate response categories, and good instructions for the respondent; clear idea of what statistical methods will be used, based on previous research.

Orange

Generally well conceptualized study with a few weaknesses in the areas listed under Green above. The researcher should address the problems identified before continuing with data collection.

Red

Poorly conceptualized study; relevance of research is questionable; if there is a model it is not supported by literature and the researcher cannot explain it properly; there is a mismatch between constructs and methodology; the sampling method is not appropriate nor practical; definition and operationalisation of variables is fuzzy; the questionnaire has poor structure, questions are badly worded, and response categories are invalid; there is no understanding of what statistical procedures should be used for analysis. This project will be referred back to the supervisor.

 

Staff or postgraduate students who want advice on research design can contact Statkon on 011 559 2851 or email statkon@uj.ac.za. To reiterate, progress in the design of the research should be at an advanced level before requesting a design meeting.


Data collection

Data collection is the responsibility of the researcher and Statkon does not get involved in this activity except in cases where the researcher wants to collect data using an online survey.


Hosting of online surveys

Should a staff member or postgraduate student want to collect data through an online survey, Statkon can facilitate preparation and administration and hosting of such a survey. The software package StatPac is utilised for this purpose. This software package facilitates placing a questionnaire designed by a researcher on the web and automatic capturing of the information submitted by a respondent. While StatPac offers flexible presentation and control options there are some limitations so the researcher with a more complex questionnaire should discuss options with a consultant before submitting the questionnaire for preparation online. The researcher must deliberate carefully before deciding to use an online survey as the response rate can be poor depending on the topic and the potential respondents. The responsibility of contacting respondents to fill out the online survey rests with the researcher. 

A limited number of online surveys can be administered concurrently.

There is a charge of R400 (incl. VAT) per page of the questionnaire for preparing and administrating an online survey.


Handing in data

Statkon facilitates data capture from hard copy questionnaires or another type of data form. Questionnaires (or data forms) must be handed in at Statkon. The researcher can ask for selected questions to be captured. If the questionnaire includes open-ended questions the researcher must indicate whether these should be captured (because such questions can increase the cost of data capture significantly). Statkon does not code open-ended responses for data capture for the researcher. Coding of e.g. open-ended questions must be completed by the researcher before data capture. For advice on (i) how to prepare a questionnaire to facilitate efficient data capture and (ii) code responses, please contact a Statkon consultant.

For accredited UJ research projects Statkon will cover R500 of the cost of data capture, as long as the annual budget for data capture has not been exhausted. Researchers and students are charged for any data capture costs in excess of R500.

Researchers requesting to make use of Statkon’s analysis service can hand in data which has been collected and captured by the researcher as long as it is in an appropriate format. Where the researcher is collecting a limited quantity of data and is able to capture the data him/herself, a Statkon consultant can advise on what constitutes an appropriate format and how to capture the data e.g. in an excel spreadsheet.

Analysis and feedback appointments

Statkon will be making changes to the procedure in which analysis is currently managed. At present when a researcher hands in data for analysis a consultant processes the analysis for the researcher. This model does not allow the researcher to develop any skill in conducting analysis him/herself and, because of the volume of projects submitted under given capacity, makes it difficult for Statkon to meet high standards of service. In order to empower researchers to develop skill in quantitative analysis as well as improve quality of service, Statkon will be introducing some new initiatives. These will include an assessment of postgraduate and staff research skills, rating of projects based on complexity of analysis required, and the introduction of quantitative analysis courses. 

Staff and postgraduate students can submit a project to be considered for analysis by a Statkon consultant. Knowledge and skill level of the staff or postgrad student will be assessed and projects will be graded as follows:  

 

Rating

Criteria

Green

Highly complex project. Requires significant input from statistical consultant.

Orange

Moderate complexity. Researcher may be asked to perform some statistical analysis. him/herself. Statistical consultant will assist with more complex analysis.

Red

Basic analysis required. Analysis of this project will be delegated to a student assistant or referred back to the researcher with instructions on how to conduct the analysis.

Grey

A number of cases apply here: (i) project is of such a nature that quantitative analysis cannot be justified e.g. sample size much too small (ii) project is not a valid UJ project and (iii) Statkon does not have the expertise to support the project. In such cases Statkon will attempt to advise the researcher on an appropriate course of action.  

Projects accepted for analysis are allocated to a consultant. The relevant consultant then contacts the researcher for feedback meetings. The standard time between handing in a project for data capture and the first feedback meeting is three weeks. A number of feedback meetings may be required. This time period may be shorter or longer depending on volume of other active projects being handled by the consultant working on your project. While every effort will be made to meet Statkon and researcher deadlines the staff member or postgrad student is urged to bring in work well in advance of the thesis/report deadline.

 

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • Statkon will accept a limited number of PhD projects for analysis concurrently.
  • Statkon will not offer support for BTech projects which have not been reviewed for design by a Statkon consultant.  
  • Statkon does not have capacity to accommodate ‘urgent’ or ‘crisis’ projects. 
  • Statkon reserves the right to (i) decline support for a project which has not been reviewed by a Statkon consultant for design and/or does not meet a decent research standard (ii) cap the amount of time spent working on a specific project and (iii) close projects which remain inactive for a long period of time (in such cases data will be handed over to the researcher and/or supervisor).  

As part of the feedback process the consultant will send the researcher an electronic copy of output. The researcher can (indeed should) request an electronic copy of their data file(s).   

Statkon will retain any hard copy questionnaires or data forms until initial analysis has been completed but storing of these to meet ethics requirements of the research is the responsibility of the researcher. 

Statkon maintains a backup of important electronic files. Paper-based material relating to the project is stored for five years.  

How do I make contact with Statkon?

Consultation is by appointment only. Please call 011-559-2851 (reception) or email statkon@uj.ac.za to make an appointment or find out more about Statkon services. Alternatively, contact one of the Statkon consultants directly (see staff page).

Where do I find Statkon offices?

Statkon offices are located in the white house on the corner directly across from the traffic circle outside Entrance 2 (Optometry Entrance) on the APK campus. The physical address is Chiselhurst House, 20 Chiselhurst Avenue, Auckland Park, 2005.

Please click here for a map


What if the expertise I need lies outside the scope of Statkon?

Should a specific request for analysis fall outside the field of expertise of Statkon, Statkon will endeavour to refer the student/researcher to an expert in the specific field/method.

What if Statkon cannot accommodate my project?

For those staff or postgrad student projects with urgent deadlines and/or staff who have budgeted to pay for analysis in their research funding applications, a list of external stats consultants can be obtained from Statkon.

Resources for novice researchers

The following are excellent resources for novice (and established) researchers who want to learn more about quantitative research and statistical analysis.

  • Pallant, Julie. 2007. SPSS survival manual. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Field, Andy. 2009. Discovering statistics using SPSS. Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Morgan, Susan E., Reichert, Tom and Tyler R. Harrison. 2002. From Numbers to Words. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

 

 

 

     
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