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Guide to Using Datasets

Ready to try out The DHS Program's STATcompiler?  The first version of the new tool was released on September 15, 2011.  Below are step-by-step instructions describing how to use the September 2011 version of the STATcompiler.

Getting Started

The welcome page of the STATcompiler tool provides links to 5 means of visualizing your data - data table, column chart, line graph, thematic map, and scatter plot. You can begin with any of these five options - the wizard will walk you through selecting your countries and indicators of interest. If you are new to STATcompiler, we suggest starting with Data Tables.

STATcompiler Tutorial Part 1

How to Build a Table

  1. Select your countries of interest. You can select through:
    1. the alphabetical list of all countries,
    2. by region of the world.
    For example, if you are interested in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, you can select those individually through the alphabetized list, or select the Eastern Africa region and then select Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.

  2. Select your indicator of interest.  There are 3 ways to do this:
    1. Most Common Indicators.  This list features about 20 of the most commonly used DHS indicators.  
    2. Search topics.  Type your topic of interest into the box for a quick link to associated indicators.
    3. Complete list.  This tree structure represents a list of all of the tables in DHS final reports.  This is same list of indicators used in the old STATcompiler.  Click through the topics (by clicking on the triangle/arrow) in the tree to find your precise indicator of interest.
    NOTE: in all cases you can choose one indicator, or check multiple boxes to select multiple indicators.

    Click OK

  3. Your data table will appear.  You can now start customizing.
    1. Add Background characteristics.   On the right under the blue bar you will see the background characteristics associated with your primary indicator.  Check the boxes to add background characteristics, and uncheck to remove them. (Note, this is also where you can change your primary indicator)
    2. Add/remove countries.  If you change your mind about the countries you selected, just select new ones or remove others in the box at the lower right hand side of the screen.
    3. Select specific years.  Locate the “show surveys: bar at the bottom of your table.
      1. Select only most recent survey for each country
      2. Select 2 most recent surveys for each country
      3. Select all surveys (the default when you create your table)
      4. Use the slider to select a year of interest.  STATcompiler will then choose the 1 survey per country that is closest to this year.
      5. Select “custom” to open up a box that will allow you to select a customized  combination of countries and years.
    4. Other features
      1. Sort your data.
        1. Deselect the box in the upper left hand corner that says “group rows”.  This allows the individual survey years to move around independently of their country label.
        2. Click on the “Total” cell at the top of your data.  This will order your data from lowest to highest.  Click again to sort from highest to lowest.
      2. Use the "Pivot options" box to customize the layout of your table.  You can sort by surveys, indicators, or characteristics.  Play around until you find the look that's right for you. Note: If you have chosen to view your data by subnational regions, these data are not available in the standard pivot view.  Change the pivot to view subnational data.
      3. Export your data to an Excel spreadsheet using the export icon with the green arrow above the indicator box.
      4. Copy your table output to Word, PowerPoint, or other programs using the copy icon above the indicator box.

Other Visualizations

Once you are comfortable with building a table, the other visualizations are fairly easy.  Selection of indicators, countries, survey years, and background characteristics are all the same. Once you have built a table, your data will carry over to the graphs and maps. Here are some additional tips for each visualization.

STATcompiler Tutorial Part 2

Column Chart

  • Note that by hovering over a bar, the survey year and exact data figure will appear.
  • Export your image.  Use the export icon above the indicator selection box to export your map to a PNG file for insertion into Word, PowerPoint, or other documents.

Line Graph

  • The line graph is best used for visualizing trends.
  • By hovering over a line, the name of the country and all of the data points for that country will appear in the pop-up box.
  • Export your image.  Use the export icon above the indicator selection box to export your map to a PNG file for insertion into Word, PowerPoint, or other documents.

Thematic map

  • The map defaults to data from the most recent survey for each country since only one survey can be shown at a time.
  • The map defaults to national data.  Countries are color coded based on their value.  To see subnational data, check the “subnational regions” button in the map legend box on the right.
  • The key on the right indicates the data range each color shade refers to. For the exact data figure, hover over your country or region of interest.
  • Customize your map:
    • Zoom in to your desired level using the zoom tool on the left hand side
    • Add country labels, mountain terrain, and/or cities by checking the boxes at the top right of the map.
  • Export your image.  Use the export icon above the indicator selection box to export your map to a PNG file for insertion into Word, PowerPoint, or other documents.
STATcompiler Tutorial Part 3

Scatter plot

A scatter plot allows you to plot two or three indicators on the same chart and see how they relate.

  1. Select your indicators.
    1. If you have already chosen a primary indicator of interest (in the data table tool or another chart tool) you will be prompted to choose a secondary indicator.  If you are starting with the scatter plot, you will be prompted to select your primary indicator and then your secondary indicator.
    2. Select the indicators using any of the 3 indicator selection pathways described in the Data Table instructions above.  In a scatter plot you should select indicators that you suspect may somehow be related (e.g. use of modern methods of family planning is expected to be related to total fertility rate).
      You will now see a relationship between two indicators.  For example, in general, total fertility rate decreases as use of modern methods increases.
    3. Add a third indicator- your bubble size value.  This should also be an indicator that is somehow related to your first two indicators, for example, women’s literacy.  The size of the bubble represents how many women are literate - the larger the bubble, the more women who can read.
  2. Interpret your chart – in general, fertility is lower in countries where more women are literate.  Similarly, high-literacy countries are also likely to be high in use of modern methods of family planning.
    • Click on any of the bubbles for the country name and exact data values.
  3. Use the export icon at the top right to export the image.