College of Graduate Studies

Quantitative Research and Statistical Analysis

A statistical consultation service is provided to students registered for a Masters or Doctoral degree at UNISA.

The following services are provided:

  • Advice on quantitative research design. This includes design of the questionnaire/ experimental/ gathering of secondary data as well as sampling.
  • Advice is provided on online questionnaires and data capturing.
  • Statistical analysis and advice is provided
  • Assistance with interpretation and write-up of the results.

Prior to starting any research study with a quantitative approach, it is imperative to consult the statistician to avoid unnecessary difficulties,

The process to be followed will now briefly be discussed. Fill in and e-mail the request for statistical support.


An initial consultation between the student and the statistician (and the supervisor if possible) before starting the quantitative research. If not possible, this will be done via the internet, since some students are outside of South-Africa.

  • Help on establishing/ confirming research goals.
  • Explain the quantitative research process to the student.
  • Provide general advice on: questionnaire design or experimental design, sampling, data acquisition, initial data processing, data validation, exploratory data analyses and hypotheses testing.

When the student continues with the services, the process will be as follows:

  • A consultation prior to the commencement of the research process.
  • Specific advice on the research proposal is provided
  • Define the research goal/s clearly
  • Help with questionnaire design or experimental design
  • Discussing questionnaire or scale validation
  • Discussing sampling
  • Data acquisition and data capturing
  • Discuss probable statistical methods that could be used

Before any questionnaire is sent out or data gathered, please ensure that the statistician is consulted again to verify.

Data acquisition
Once the student has accumulated data as reflected in the  questionnaire, the captured data is transferred to electronic media (can be Excel or csv format).

Data analysis phase
The raw data is converted into an appropriate format for the statistical package employed (for example a SAS JMP or SPSS database). Data validation and exploratory data analysis is done or advice is provided.

Consultation with study leader and/or student
A meeting is arranged between the statistician, the study leader (if possible) and the student.

The statistical techniques that will be used are determined in conjunction with the study leader. It is very important that consensus on these techniques must be reached to address the research goals. The student will be assisted to understand the basic principles of the techniques employed.

(Note: The student has to provide a brief description of these techniques in the empirical chapter of the thesis.)

  • Statistical analysis
    The statistical analyses and hypothesis testing are performed by the statistician or advice is provided to the student on how to do it. It can range from basic techniques like chi-square tests and graphs to more sophisticated techniques like multiple regression analysis.

Interpretation and write-up phase
Meetings or Skype and telephonic conversations are arranged as necessary between the statistician and the students to provide assistance with the interpretation and write-up of the results.

Examples are provided for write-ups of results.

Please contact

Tel: 012 429 8989

Last modified: 2019/05/20