# Blog

Jan
2022

## Getting More from your Survey Questions with Factor Analysis

Surveys can be a rich source of information, including not only factual questions, but asking about attitudes, behaviours, and activities.
Factor analysis is a statistical technique that combines questions that are related (correlated) into a smaller number of factors, to create more robust measures.
In this blog we show factor analysis in action.

Oct
2020

## What the A Level Grade Scandal Can Show Us about Algorithmic Bias

There are lots of ways in which artificial intelligence can be unfair in its decision making. In this blog we discuss this so-called "algorithmic bias", motivated by a particularly visible example that recently made the news - when UK A level grades were calculated using an algorithm since students were unable to sit exams due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nov
2019

## Do School Performance Tables Really Measure School Performance?

Research published recently by the University of Bristol shows that analysis of school performance results change when pupils' background characteristics are taken into account. Commenting on the study, the Northern Powerhouse says that "league tables punish and reward the wrong schools". This study supports our findings from a previous blog, but also illustrates the importance of carefully considering what is included in a statistical model.

Jun
2019

## Novel Educational Research using Longitudinal Survey Data

A recent article in the Guardian newspaper reports on a study published last month that looks at parents' responses to news from the Ofsted inspection of their child's school. Aside from the eye-catching headline, we found a number of aspects of this study interesting.

Jan
2019

## Presenting the Results of a Multinomial Logistic Regression Model: Odds or Probabilities?

Understanding the outputs from a model can sometimes be daunting. In this post, we show how we can convert the outputs from a multinomial logistic regression to gain more easily interpretable insights from the model.

Nov
2018

## Measuring Human Behaviours and Traits with Item Response Theory

In the fields of education and psychology a frequent ambition is measurement. A statistical technique called Item Response Theory can be used to measure human behaviours and traits which are not directly measurable, such as confidence, ability and resilience.

Sep
2018

## Debunking the Myth of a North/South Divide in GCSE Performance

A recent article in the Guardian newspaper reports new research highlighting that disadvantage is the main factor affecting student outcomes. Not only does this concur with our results from a recent blog, but it highlights how important both the type of analysis conducted and the clarity of reporting is to enable others to evaluate the often conflicting findings based on data.

Aug
2018

## Analysing Outcomes with Multiple Categories

In a previous post, we discussed how to analyse categorical data with two outcomes using logistic regression model. Here we extend the logistic regression model to the case of an outcome with more than two categories.

Jun
2018

## Is There a North/South Divide in GCSE Performance?

The Department for Education regularly publishes data on schools and the characteristics of their pupils. Previous analyses have shown regional differences in GCSE performance, but is there really a North/South divide?