Visually exploring and representing survey data.
May 7, 2008 9:45 AM Subscribe
Best ways to visually explore a large survey data set?
posted by proj to education (9 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
My advisor has advised me to explore my data set visually before diving in statistically. It is a large (N = 180,000+) survey data set comprised of individuals in over 80 countries. Most of the responses are categorical or dichotomous in nature, taking the form "agree/disagree" or "yes/no/maybe." Some of them are Likert-style scales (1-5, Disagree-Agree). Many of the demographic variables are also categorical (for example, rather than asking income, "income level" is asked) but I do have a few continuous variables such as age. My dependent variable of interest is a scale composed of four survey items indexed to 100 (although the actual number of discrete values taken on the scale is rather low owing to the nature of the questions comprising the scale).
What would be some interesting ways to visually explore this data? Obviously, scatterplots (even with jittering) are not the way to go because of the highly redundant and categorical nature of the data. I have a few boxplots that I've generated (usually separating by gender or region). I am open to abstract suggestions or concrete suggestions using R or Stata.