This article gives guidance on how to run a correlation analysis using Microsoft Excel software. For undergraduate and postgraduate students whose researches require correlation analysis, it is important to read this article to the end for proper guidance.
What is Correlation?
Correlation is a statistical analysis that shows the strength of the relationship between two or more variables. It shows how significantly similar or different two or more variables are.
The correlation coefficient is an index that shows the relationship between two variables. It ranges from -1 to +1. The correlation could be positive or negative. This means that the effect of a treatment on a variable can lead to either a positive or negative outcome.
For instance, if we decide to measure the correlation between poultry manure treatment applied to a farm and cassava growth.
A positive correlation indicates that the treatment has a significant positive effect on the growth of cassava. That is as more poultry manure is added; higher growth of cassava is expected.
On the other hand, a negative correlation indicates that the treatment has a significantly negative effect on the growth of cassava. That is, an increase in poultry manure leads to a decline in the growth rate of cassava.
Things To Note In Correlation Analysis
- It only shows the strength of the relationship between variables, it does not explain the causes.
- The correlation coefficient is not expressed in any given unit of measurement
Running Correlation Analysis on MS-Excel
To run a correlation analysis in Excel, you must do the following:
- Install the MS Excel software package on your computer and run the software.
- Download and Install the Data Analysis Extension on your excel software. This extension is necessary in running various statistical analyses.
- Type in your raw data into the columns and rows. For the illustration below, I shall use a data set of some soil chemical properties.
- From the menu bar on the excel worksheet, select the data tab. Select data analysis.
- From the options, select correlation and click ok.
- Select the input range by highlighting the data set.
- Check the labels in the first row.
- Skip a line and select the A11 as the output range. This is to ensure that the correlation matrix appears on the same page.
- Your correlation result appears.
This result only shows how the variables relate to each other. It does not indicate if their relationship is statistically significant. My next article will show you how to indicate the statistical significance of the correlation matrix.
This article has clearly illustrated how to run a correlation analysis. Do not forget to drop your comments and any questions you may have in the comment section below.
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