Creating Hypothetical Data Sets?

p05

New Member
#1
Does anyone know a good way to create a set of a few hundred hypothetical data points (in SPSS or anything that I could import into SPSS) that would have a pre-specified mean and standard deviation?

In other words, I want to run various kinds of tests on a sample set of data. I think I know certain things about the likely shape of the data, but I want to test a few things out, and it seems like there has to be a better way to get some data to work on than typing in hundreds of numbers. Is there some kind of function that would randomize values between certain ranges, like 1 to 5, (and still let me control things like the overall average and standard deviation)?
 

p05

New Member
#3
It's probably going to be hard for me to go get open source software, put it on my computer and teach myself to use it in the near future. So, what would be the quick path to this? Is R available for Windows? And, if I just wanted to do one thing with it, like create some of these data sets, how would I do that?
 
#4
Do you have access to Minitab. It is super easy in Minitab. You state how many random observations you want, what type of distribution you want (maybe normal), and what mean and SD you want.
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#5
Is there some kind of function that would randomize values between certain ranges, like 1 to 5, (and still let me control things like the overall average and standard deviation)?
What kind of distribution are you assuming? Do you think the data is normally distributed? Does it have to be in a certain range? Is is discrete or continuous?

I only ask because there are places online that will generate random data for you.

But also I just did a quick search and there's this thread on the forum that might help.

Edit: Also found this which explains how to get some random numbers
 
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p05

New Member
#6
Thanks. I found a demo copy of minitab and it does seem to be the simplest way of doing what I need. It seems to have full functionality for the 30 day trial (they just make you jump through a million hoops to get the download).
 

p05

New Member
#7
Thanks. It is normally distributed data (mostly). Minitab seems to have some nice functions for doing what I need, I just wasn't aware that minitab did that. I will also check out those links you posted.
 

p05

New Member
#9
Thanks. I thought Excel could probably do some of this, but other than just random numbers, I wasn't aware it could generate distributions. It doesn't have quite as nice an interface for this as Minitab, but it has the advantage of being part of the ubiquitous M$ Office software.
 

Link

Ninja say what!?!
#10
You're welcome. Be careful when using the rand function though. Every time the sheet refreshes, the function will compute new random numbers. I usually will copy and past values when using this.
 

Dason

Ambassador to the humans
#12
I don't trust excel for anything mathematical/statistical. You're all welcome to use it but be wary because it has some major problems.