The Data is a Mess When I Open Displayr

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When the data is a mess - for example, you're looking at multiple response questions split apart and numbers that do not make sense - the problem is always that the data file that is being used contains one or more problems. Most commonly, the problem will be either that:

  • A data file is used that contains no metadata (e.g., the file will contain a value of 1 to indicate 'male', but nothing in the file indicates that 1 means 'male').
  • The metadata that is contained in the file is incorrect.

Files with no metadata

If the data file contains no metadata, the solution is to either:

Files with incorrect metadata

If the file contains incorrect metadata, the solutions depends on your type of datafile.

  • The first step would be to contact whoever provided the data file and provide them with specifications for creating a good data file. It is appropriate to give them the datafile specifications below.
  • If you are wanting to fix it yourself, and workin with an SPSS file .sav, you'll need to use software such as SPSS or Q to fix the data to meet SPSS Data File Specifications.
  • If you are working with an Excel file, this is easier to fix yourself. See: Importing Excel spreadsheets or CSV files