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These WINKS statistics tutorials explain the use and interpretation of standard statistical analysis techniques for Medical, Pharmaceutical, Clinical Trials, Marketing or Scientific Research. The examples include how-to instructions for WINKS SDA Version 6.0 Software. Download evaluation copy of WINKS.


Preparing Excel Data for
Import into WINKS

Guidelines for preparing data in Excel for import into the WINKS statistics program:

1. Names of columns, which will become variable names, should be short and unique, 8 characters or less, containing no blanks. Names must begin with a letter. For example AGE1998 is okay but 1998AGE is not. Also “AGE 1999?is not an allowed variable name, but AGE_1999 is okay. Names should appear on row 1 in the spreadsheet above each variable column.

2. Data in columns should be coded. WINKS allows up to 65 characters in a character field. However, long entries become difficult to analyze. For example, code data as “INFLUENZA?or “FLU? rather than “PATIENT HAS INFLUENZA.?We recommend that data field codes be 8 characters long or shorter. Also, make sure that all character (text) data fields are in either all upper or all lower case. The computer sees the character “F?different from “f?and “FEMALE?different from “Female.?/p>

3. If you want to calculate averages, all data in a column must be numeric. You should have no numeric data entered as a range such as 30-50, or that contains any other character other than a number. For example the entries “GT 50,??lt;=100?or ?00+?“N.A.?or “MISSING? cannot be used to create a mean. Also, large numbers should be entered without commas Use ?23456?instead of ?23,456.?Anything in a data field other than numeric digits, decimal points and a preceding plus (+) or minus (-) cannot be used to calculate averages.

4. If you have missing values in a column of number, select a unique identifier such as -9 or -99 (some impossible number) and enter it into the fields that are missing. After you import the data into WINKS, specify -9 or -99 as the missing value code and WINKS will ignore any missing entries during analysis. See the WINKS manual for specifying missing data codes.

Here is an example file ready for import:

Excel for Import into WINKS

5. Once you've created and saved the Excel file you can open it difrectly into WINKS (version 6 and above) by choose File/Open Data Set -- then specify  .xls as the "files of data type." WINKS will as you if your first row are variable names.

6. For an example of what an Excel file should look like before importing it, open the Excel file named EXAMPLE.XLS in the WINKS directory.

For a more comprehensive look at preparing data:

Elliott AC, Hynan LS, Reisch JS, Smith JP. "Preparing Data for Analysis Using Microsoft Excel." J Investig Med 54(6):334-41, 2006.



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