Dataset Generator for Learning Introductory Statistics

Buy the bookInspired partly by my success at explaining How to Compute ICCs in SPSS on my blog, and partly because I think significance testing is usually not well-understood by most students in statistics courses, I wrote a statistics textbook entitled A Step-by-Step Introduction to Statistics for Business, published by SAGE. It’s a concise, one-semester introduction to the topic based around a chapter-by-chapter exploration of how small business owners can solve practical problems with statistics. It’s accompanied by click-by-click video demonstrations of all skills in both SPSS and Excel, tied closely to chapter contents, plus an online random dataset generator for learners to test their computational skills (and instructors to generate problem sets!). If you’d like to teach or learn about statistics from a practical, hands-on perspective that students can relate to, I strongly recommend it!

As a statistics student and as a statistics intructor, one of the things I found most frustrating was a lack of datasets to test my knowledge and to provide self-test material to my students. The tool on this webpage is designed to help you with this problem.

As a student, if I wanted to test myself on statistical skills, I would need to create a dataset – and I could throw numbers into a table easily enough – but then I’d have no way to know if I was right after conducting analyses. As an instructor, creating datasets is not much easier – you need to use data generation techniques and then test iteratively to ensure the numbers you end up using provide a meaningful test. You then need to work through the problem by hand yourself to demonstrate those steps to students.

To make this process easier for everyone, I have written the program below to generate datasets! It is modeled on the chapters of my book (so, for example, you can generate a dataset to help you with the content in Chapter 4), but you can also use it for specific statistical tests if you know what you’re looking for.

Dataset Generator Settings

Chapter/Statistical Test:
Sample Size/Group Size:
Outcome Variable Type:
(not used for chi tests)
Significance of Result:
(used only for inferential tests)

Generated Dataset

Click “Generate Dataset” above to create a dataset and produce output.

Completed Analysis

Click “Generate Dataset” above to create a dataset and produce output.