To interpret means to explain the meaning of data. Interpretation of data is that important part of the research which is associated with the drawing of inferences from the collected data. It is very useful and important part of research because it makes possible the use of research data. Figures themselves have no utility. It is the interpretation that makes it possible to utilize the collected data. If data properly interrelated, it gives right judgment and conclusions. Correct interpretation leads to correct forecasting too. Right interpretation helps in correct decisions and suitable policy making. Interpretation from data is an art and it requires good knowledge of statistics, wisdom and vast experience.
For drawing right and correct conclusions for the data, the data must be handled carefully and following precautions must be taken to have good interpretation.
The Data Should be Homogenous
Homogenous means of the same or similar nature. It means the collection of data should be made on the same parameters or units, otherwise comparison will not be possible and drawing conclusions would be difficult. For example if the data regarding buying capacity is collected then it must be in the terms of rupees only (and not in dollars). Homogeneity of data should also take into account the similarity of features in the two different areas. For example the data regarding Mumbai and Nagpur. If the data is not homogenous, then the conclusions drawn can easily lead to wrong findings.
The Data Should be Adequate
adequate means sufficient. Conclusions based on inadequate data cannot be right and proper, therefore the data must be full and complete. Incomplete data also makes it difficult to analyze the data properly. For example if data is collected only about consumers expenses without knowing their incomes it may lead to inappropriate conclusions.
The Data Should be Suitable
suitability of data is very important right from drafting questions, collection of answers and interpretation. For example, in order to study the buying behavior of car users, rich consumers should be consulted. Data regarding poor consumers is not suitable for this product and therefore may lease to false or wrong conclusions.
The Data Should be Scientifically Analyzed
For drawing proper conclusions, the most appropriate and advanced statistical technique should be used to analyze the data. It will lead to correct and fast conclusions.
Data Analysis Involves Critical Thinking
Data analysis involves critical thinking. This is done only after collecting all the data and always focused on the research problem. The data are described and interpreted in detail leading to the ultimate conclusion. Tables, graphs and illustrations are used to present the data more clearly and economically.
In brief, analysis involves examination and evaluation of some phenomenon by dividing it into some constituent parts and identifying the relationships among the parts in the context of the whole. You then interpret the relationships to explain or make some intended generalization governing the behavior of the phenomenon.
The researcher summarizes the main findings of his study and the implications. Conclusions summarize the main results of the research and describe what they mean for the general field. Briefly describe what you did, consider suggesting future research to follow up where your research ended.