Good choice! Most researchers agree that one of the first steps in data analysis is to take a good look at the actual data, descriptive statistics such as the mean and standard deviation, and graphs of the data.

**Your goals for this section are:**

1. To familiarize yourself with your data ("get close to the data")

2. To gather summary information regarding your variables (descriptive statistics)

Take a look at the actual data: Looking at the raw data can often uncover obvious errors in data entry and other mistakes. Errors in your data can lead to problems when analyzing data.

Look at Measures of Central Tendency and Graphs:
The **measures of central tendency** give summary information about each
variable.

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