Krisanna Machtmes, PhD
Analyzing evaluation data can be a nerve-wracking experience for all individuals. We worry that we are going to have to do some elaborate type of algebraic equation in order to analyze our survey or evaluation data. Nothing could be further from the truth. For many evaluation questionnaires the data can be analyzed using simple frequencies and percentages.
Regardless of whether your data is categorical, interval and/or ratio – all data can be analyzed using frequencies and percentages.
So what exactly is a frequency and how do you calculate it? A frequency is merely a count of the number of times an event occurred in a given category such as the category of gender that is made up of males or females.
Lets say you have distributed your evaluation survey to your program participants. On this survey you ask the participants in your program to indicate whether they are male or female. You will add up the total number of times the respondents have indicated they were female and you will report that number as a frequency (you will do the same for the respondents who have indicated they are male).
You would report the data as follows:
There was a total of 90 individuals that attended the LSU AgCenter Hurricane Preparedness Program and 55 of the individuals were male and 35 were female.
Now what if you want to report your evaluation data in percentages? Since you already know the total number of individuals that attended your training (90) and how many were males and how many were females – just do the following to calculate percentages:
Calculating percentages – example
- 35 females divided by 90 total participants = 38 % of the participants were females or 35/90 = 38%
- 55 males divided by 90 total participants = 62 % of the participants were males.
Caution – remember that since you are dividing a portion of your respondents 35 by the total number of respondents 90 – you are creating a percentage – thus you report the data as a percentage.
Frequency and percentage data are often reported in the same sentence – for example:
There was a total of 90 individuals that attended the LSU AgCenter Hurricane Preparedness Program and 55 (62%) of the participants were male and 35 (38%) were female.
Additional resources on frequencies and percentages: