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This content is taken from the UEA (University of East Anglia)'s online course, Preparing for University. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds Data analysis comes up in nearly every subject you could study at university. For example, studying different products in business studies, looking at historical accounts in the arts, comparing how patients respond to different drugs in the medical and social sciences, and the exploration of the world in the sciences. Understanding numbers and how they apply to the subject you’ve chosen to study is vitally important.

Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds In many situations, data provides the evidence on which to base your argument, and this is particularly so in the sciences. It’s important to understand the power of data, and where it can be used to support your argument. Understanding things such as percentages, proportions, the shapes of graphs, trends in data– these are all important skills to acquire.

Skip to 1 minute and 11 seconds Along with this is to avoid any fear of data, because data is what helps explain the world and can reveal amazing things about whatever system or subject you might be studying.


The aim of this unit is to demonstrate the importance of data across disciplines, to explore how data can be used to manipulate and support an argument and to find out how capable and interested you are in handling data.

And what are we meaning by ‘data’? Data can be used to mean information that is gathered and kept about you for example by web sites or marketing companies. But here we are talking about numbers, measurements, all used to support arguments and push forward our knowledge of the world.

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Preparing for University

UEA (University of East Anglia)

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