Guidelines for DSSC Consultations
- work with the documentation and codebooks to explain how the data is organized;
- copy files from one computer system or storage medium to another;
- extract subsets from large files;
- merge data;
- convert data among the standard formats used when working with data.
Work with Data
- give pointers to appropriate techniques using examples, and a library of sample programs;
- explain program language syntax;
- advice on data manipulation techniques;
- provide assistance in understanding and solving programming errors;
- assistance with research design;
- guidance on statistical methodology.
- support learning statistical software (SAS, SPSS, et al.) and GIS software (ArcView, ArcGIS) by having manuals available and using computer-based training aids;
- give introductions to finding and using data either in the library or in class;
- prepare online user documentation and training aids.
Our efforts are guided by these basic principles:
- The role of the consultant is to help find answers, suggest solutions, and guide the user to relevant resources, not to do the user's work.
- Researchers should understand, and become self-sufficient in, the tools of their trade as the basic foundation for a fruitful career in their field.
- Research design, analysis, and programming must be firmly grounded in the substance of the discipline involved, which can only be the researcher's responsibility.