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analysts to custodians of the necessary inputs to the data

Analysis refers to breaking a whole into its separate components for individual examination. Data analysis is a processfor obtaining raw data and converting it into information useful for decision-making by users. Data are collected and analyzed to answer questions, test hypotheses or disprove theories.[3]

Statistician John Tukey defined data analysis in 1961 as: “Procedures for analyzing data, techniques for interpreting the results of such procedures, ways of planning the gathering of data to make its analysis easier, more precise or more accurate, and all the machinery and results of (mathematical) statistics which apply to analyzing data.”[4]

There are several phases that can be distinguished, described below. The phases are iterative, in that feedback from later phases may result in additional work in earlier phases.[5]