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ALI Assessment Committee: Statistical Analysis

Materials archive from ALI Assessment Committee Events. This is intended to be the sharing location for materials hosted on other sites, like YouTube, institutional repositories, and their like.

Statistical analysis rescue

In this guide you will find help for statistical analysis, including:

Saint Bernard dog
  • books
  • definitions
  • articles
  • SPSS aids
  • Excel add-in

SPSS aids

SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) is one of the most frequently used statistical software packages. Check to see if it is available for use on your campus. 

Visit SPSS Learning Modules created by UCLA for more information.

Microsoft Excel add-in

If SPSS is more analysis power than you require, Microsoft's Excel has a free statistical analysis add-in that performs many of the most frequently used analysis such as ANOVA, correlation, F-Test, t-Test, regression, and z-test.

How to install data analysis on Excel?
Load and activate the Analysis ToolPak

  1. Click the File tab, click Options, and then click the Add-Ins category. ...
  2. In the Manage box near the bottom, select Excel Add-ins and then click Go. ...
  3. In the Add-Ins box, check the Analysis ToolPak check box, and then click OK.
  4. Now there will be a "Data Analysis" feature added to the "Data" tab in your version of Excel.


Articles with robust use of statistics

Gutierrez, C., & Wang, J. (2012). Assessment in a medium-sized academic library: A success story. Advances in Librarianship, 35, 65-81. doi: 10.1108/S0065-2830(2012)0000035007

Wang, R. (2016). Assessment for one-shot library instruction: A conceptual approach. portal: Libraries & the Academy, 16(3), 619-648. doi: 10.1353/pla.2016.0042


Statistics word cloud


ANOVA: a test to determine the statistical significance of the differences among the means of two or more random samples from a given population

CHI SQUARE: often used to assess the "goodness of fit" between an obtained set of frequencies in a random sample and what is expected under a given statistical hypothesis

DEGREES OF FREEDOM: describes the number of values in the final calculation of a statistic that are free to vary

MEDIAN: the point that divides the distribution of scores in half. Numerically, half of the scores in a population will have values that are equal to or larger than the median and half will have values that are equal to or smaller than the median.

NULL HYPOTHESIS: often use to indicate the statistical hypothesis tested. The purpose of most statistical tests is to determine if the obtained results provide a reason to reject the (null) hypothesis that they are merely a product of chance factors.

STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the probability of a result from a statistical test occurring by chance.

t-TEST: employs the statistic (t) to test a given statistical hypothesis about the mean of a population or about the means of two populations

Qualitative research

Qualitative research is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. The information or data collected is primarily non-quantitative in nature. Examples of qualitative research methods include:

Case studies
Focus groups
Field notes

Important examples of qualitative library research are presented in Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester, edited by Nancy Fried Foster and Susan Gibbons (ALA, 2007).


Studying Students: A Second Look (PDF), edited by Nancy Fried Foster (ALA, 2013)