Statkon provides a professional, goal-orientated statistical consultation service to postgraduate students and researchers at UJ in respect of research design and methodology, experimental and questionnaire design, and statistical analysis of data.
By providing support for their quantitative research projects, the Statistical Consultation Service (Statkon) continued to make a significant contribution to UJ’s research activity and throughput of postgraduate students. Important services provided in 2012 included support for survey or experimental design and questionnaire design; facilitation of data capture through CMC Data Capturers; support for analysis of
datasets utilizing appropriate statistical procedures; feedback and explanation of the statistical
results and the interpretation thereof; hosting of research-based online surveys; ad hoc training in the use of SPSS software; and acquisition and roll out of statistical software.
Statkon consultants hosted 210 research design meetings, generally involving review of a research
proposal and draft data collection instruments. Statkon assisted with projects across all but one of UJ’s faculties during 2012. The submission of projects from different faculties, and from different departments within faculties, meant consultants were required to review and provide feedback on projects with diverse subject matter and a range of research designs. While the highest number of students and researchers were located on the Kingsway campus, significant numbers from Doornfontein and Bunting
campuses were also supported.
The majority of research design support was provided for postgraduate students, with the largest group
being Masters students. About equal numbers of PhD students and staff were supported for research design. Together with student assistants, consultants facilitated data capture for 140 projects. Statkon
staff prepare the data collection instrument for data capture, an estimate of cost to capture is calculated and hard copy questionnaires (or other paper-based forms of data) are then sent to CMC Data Capturers to perform data capture. Data is returned to Statkon where staff members prepare and check the data before it is allocated for analysis or (more rarely) sent to the researcher for them to conduct analysis
Statkon covered an amount of R500 per project for data capture costs, with any amount over this billed to the researcher. During the year, consultants conducted statistical analysis on 194 projects. As with research design, Statkon conducted analysis on projects for all but one of UJ’s faculties during 2012.
Statkon facilitated online data collection through online surveys for a limited number of research
projects. Statkon staff were responsible for preparing, testing and administering the online survey
(but not for distributing the survey to potential respondents) while it is live. A fee for placing
a questionnaire on the web was charged to recover the cost of the license for online software
and hosting of the surveys.
The Head of Statkon provided ad hoc workshops on the use of SPSS for statistical analysis
through the PGC, with the aim of indicating to students and researchers how they could conduct
quantitative analysis independently. This function will be expanded in 2013. Statkon was responsible for the procurement of a site (campus wide) license for SPSS 18 for Windows from IBM SPSS as well as the distribution of the software to users (staff and students) within UJ.