Data considerations for Correlation

To ensure that your results are valid, consider the following guidelines when you collect data, perform the analysis, and interpret your results.

The data should be continuous or ordinal
If you have categorical data, you should perform a Cross Tabulation and Chi-Square to examine the association between variables.
The relationship between variables should be linear or monotonic
If your variables do not have a linear or monotonic relationship, the results from the correlation analysis will not accurately reflect the strength of the relationship. To check for other forms of relationships, create a Scatterplotor use Simple Regression.
Unusual values can have a strong effect on the results
Because unusual values can have a strong effect on the results, create a Scatterplotor use Simple Regression to identify these values. You should investigate outliers because they can provide useful information about your data or process.
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