Advanced Analysis of Public Opinion and Consultancy Research


Course description:


This course introduces you to the basic principles of doing research and conducting consultancy work. Quantitative data analysis is an important part of business reports, marketing analyses, and consultancy projects, while surveys of public opinion are one of the major sources of quantitative data. The course will, therefore, teach you how to use data from public opinion polls in producing analytical reports. However, the work of a consultant also presupposes knowledge of methods of data collection, both quantitative and qualitative, and being able to design a research project aimed to provide answers for a particular question. Hence the course will not only teach you how to conduct applied data analysis using surveys and large datasets, but it also prepares you to implement stand-alone quantitative research projects independently on your own. On the one hand, we will consider all the stages of conducting an individual-led quantitative project, from the initial conception and research questions to data analysis and presentation. On the other, you will be trained in the main techniques of quantitative data analysis using the SPSS statistical package.


Course requirements:

  • Basic statistics (descriptive stats, basics of estimation, regression, chi-square, and comparisons of means).
  • Able to get and interpret descriptive stats and regression in any software eg excel, Stata, R.
  • Basics of data management in any software is an asset (understanding the structure of the data file, data manipulation, data cleaning, and recoding).


Another requirement is to have a project or a topic in hand on which they want to do an applied analysis and report writing.  The students should also already have a datafile on which they can conduct analysis, or be willing to find a suitable dataset on the issue they want to study from publicly available sources.


Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Design and conduct a quantitative research project;
  • Understand the difference between analytics for academic and applied projects;
  • Differentiate and apply appropriate quantitative methods in social and economic research, depending on research goals;
  • Understand the advantages and limitations of quantitative methods in conducting social, economic or developmental research


Skills-based objectives

By the end of the course, students should acquire the following skills:

  • Basic analytical skills to conduct an applied research project;
  • Use a variety of quantitative methods in an analytical report;
  • Use statistical data analysis software (e.g., SPSS) to manipulate the data and answer practical research questions in a project;
  • Learn how to write and present a research report to different stakeholders;
  • Learn how to become a consultant


Learning outcomes:

At the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Understand the goals, uses, advantages, and disadvantages of surveys and other quantitative methods of data collection;
  • Design research or an evaluation project using surveys or other quantitative data as evidence, formulate the research questions, and answer them with available data;
  • Understand the connection between the study design, research questions, methods to be used in social and evaluation research, and types of data analysis that can be produced;
  • Understand the difference between social science projects and evaluation or consultancy reports written for large international organizations;
  • Conduct a study answering specific research questions and applying the most common quantitative analysis techniques.


Language: English