I’ve had the privilege to work with two of the best tabbers.  They are the best not just because of their skillset, but more importantly because of their unending patience with my constant requests.

Not surprisingly, I am a complete and utter nuisance when it comes to tabs.  I want more process tables and cuts and banner points than should be legally allowed. I like to “stay curious” when analyzing data which inevitably means looking for the answers to all of my questions in mounds and mounds of tabs.

That’s why I’m including this third and final tool in my list of MR tools you should be using.

3) MarketSight

Challenge: In a world where we need to let the data tell the story, we have very few truly adaptable tools to help us. Running various cuts in tab and banner programs can be time consuming and require more process tables than we can keep up with. Trying to use SPSS or SAS can be a game of trial and error requiring too much point and click or worse yet – syntax. How can we quickly test whether our theories about the relationships in our data are worth further investigation?

Solution: Whenever I work with data, what I’m looking for is a tool with more power than Excel that is less complicated than SPSS. This is the niche where MarketSight resides – at the intersection of usable and flexible.

Capabilities: MarketSight is essentially an online crosstab and charting tool for semi-dummies (see the definition of semi-dummies in drawbacks). By uploading any tab-delimited or Excel file, you can create a project from which you can run any type of crosstab analysis. You can also do basic data manipulation like recoding variables, creating multiple response variables, run stat testing, etc. It basically does what SPSS can do in its table function but with less hassle.

Drawbacks: The major drawback to MarketSight is that it’s almost too flexible which makes it a little difficult to use if you are a novice (semi-dummy). Even as a somewhat more informed user, I could get myself a little turned around and twisted up in the particular options – do I want to percent off of counts or base? What weight am I supposed to apply here?

Bonus: The great bonus of MarketSight for me was the simplicity of running stat tests on crosstabs with just a drag and drop table system. It allowed me to test lots of ideas about data to create a more comprehensive story rather than relying on just the standard banners (are men really different than women? Who cares!?!?). With MarketSight, you can dive deeper into relationships that you might not have thought to look for previously.