Baseline

Set the baseline scenario for comparisons

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Updated at October 18th, 2019

Comparing results to baseline

Clicking on any value in Protobi creates a filter that applies to every element. This enables you to see how respondents who answered one question answered other questions. Click anywhere to filter everywhere.

Protobi automatically compares every result to a baseline distribution so that you can immediately see important differences and quickly test hypotheses.

But wait... how do we compare what's different? That's typically the first question. That's what baseline is for. In this tutorial we will teach you how to view your baseline, then dive deeper into its significance.

Quick start guide:

  • Click to create filters for defining one scenario (see Click to query)
  • Press "Set base" to set the current scenario as the baseline
  • Click to create filters for another scenario
  • The solid bars now represent your new scenario
  • The thin black outlines represent your baseline scenario
  • Triangles indicate significant differences between current and baseline

Initial view

When you first open a dataset in Protobi it displays results for all respondents. Below are the first two questions from the Gender and Generations Survey from Pew Research.

We can see 30.5% of all respondents say they are "Very happy," and 25.4% say they are in "Excellent" health.

Click to filter

Press on "Excellent" in q2 to show results for just those respondents. We can see out of the 100% of respondents who reported themselves in "Excellent" health, 49.6% also said they are "Very happy."

Here you can observe there are thin black outlines and solid color bars .

The percentages and solid color bars reflect the current scenario, (i.e., only those in "Excellent" health). The thin black outlines reflect the baseline scenario (which initially includes all respondents).

You can hover to see the value baseline frequency. Here, of those in "Excellent" health, 49.6% are "Very happy" compared to 30.5% for all respondents.

Protobi shows triangles wherever the current scenario is significantly different from baseline. Here, the triangle indicates that 49.6% is significantly higher than 30.5%.

Protobi is smart enough to recognize that "Very happy" respondents are a subset of all respondents, so in this case the triangle is really comparing "Very happy" to not "Very happy" respondents.

Set current filters as baseline

But let's say we want to make a strict comparison between non-overlapping groups, to compare those respondents who are NOT "Very happy" to those who ARE "Very happy".

Press the toolbar button "Set base" to make the baseline scenario equal to the current scenario:

Select other filters

Then shift+click on "Very happy" to select those respondents who are NOT "Very happy":

We can see above, we're now running a strong comparison between two distinct groups. The groups being those who are NOT "Very happy" (current scenario, solid bars) versus those who ARE "Very happy" (baseline scenario, thin black outline).

See also

Baseline scenarios are great for comparing specific subsets. But if your goal is to systematically compare every value, another approach is to create a crosstab:

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