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Most routines in ASP require that data be contained in a data matrix. A data matrix is a rectangular array made up of columns and rows. Variables are identified with the columns of the matrix, and cases (i.e., the values of variables that correspond to each other) are identified with the rows.
Data matrices used by ASP contain only numbers. Thus, nonnumeric data (e.g., sex, political affiliation, etc.) must be given a numeric code (e.g., Male=1, Female=2, etc.) if they are to be included in an ASP data matrix.
The ASP data editor is used to create and modify ASP data matrices. This editor appears at the bottom of the opening screen when ASP is first started:
At the top of the editor is a frame containing a set of buttons and two edit boxes:
At the bottom of the editor are three grid boxes:
There is also an ENTER DATA By Case or By Var. option control above the grid box on the left. This option control allows you to enter data one case at a time if the By Case option is selected, or one variable at a time if the By Var. option is selected.
Once a data matrix is in the editor you can edit it as you see fit. You can use the scroll bars to the right and below the numeric grid box to bring any given cell in the data matrix into view, then click on the cell to open the edit window over the cell. You can also use the cursor keys to move the edit window to any cell in the data matrix.
ASP allows a great deal of flexibility in working with files. In addition to saving and opening files that are created in the ASP data editor, you can open and save the data in ASCII files along with the names of the variables in the data matrix being opened or saved. In addition, you can import data from the clipboard into the ASP data editor.
ASP allows you to transform and recode variables and cases, sort and transpose data matrices, breakdown and combine variables, add and delete variables and cases, and to generate variables to add to the data matrix. These routines are available on the DATA MANAGEMENT menu.
The options on this menu are also available directly in the ASP data editor on the opening screen. Four of the options on the DATA MANAGEMENT menu, adding and deleting variables and cases, are available directly from the data editor by clicking on the Add Vars, Add Cases, Delete Vars, or Delete Cases buttons in the frame at the top of the editor. (The data matrix in the editor can also be listed and printed in this way by clicking on the List Matrix and Print Matrix buttons.) The rest of the options on the DATA MANAGEMENT menu are on the more options menu obtained by clicking on the More Options button.
Eight of the options on the DATA MANAGEMENT menu allow you to operate directly on the data matrix in the editor:
The variable transformation options are located on the VARIABLE/CASE TRANSFORMATION menu. This menu has twenty-four options. These options allow you to generate:
The Case Transformations option on the Variable/Case Transformations menu allows you to calculate the case statistics for a set of variables. The available statistics include the:
The Recode Variables option on the DATA MANAGEMENT menu allows you to systematically change the values of a set of variables.
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