Entering Data Directly into MINITAB

Minitab operates on columns of data rather like a spreadsheet. These columns are labeled C1,C2,C3,C4,C5, etc. You can refer to a range of columns by using a dash between column numbers. For example, "C1-C5"refers to C1, C2, C3, C4, and C5.

To enter data from the keyboard of your terminal into a Minitab worksheet, enter the READ command. Each column of the data would contain a different piece of information, called a variable. Each row of the data would represent a different record or case. Often a case contains the information for one person, such as one person's responses to a survey, or one person's grades in a class.

At the Minitab prompt, type READ followed by the column numbers that you want to enter data into, such as "READ C1-C5". Then press <RETURN>. Minitab will respond with a subprompt, DATA> . Next to this subprompt, you should enter the data for the first case. Then press <RETURN>. Another DATA> subprompt will occur, and you can enter the data for the second case. DATA> subprompts will continue to occur until you enter "end" . At that point, Minitab will tell you the number of rows read, and you will get the MTB> prompt again. Suppose that we have the student id, and 4 test scores for 6 students. A typical sequence might look like this:

DATA> 444555 71 84 75 92
DATA> 222333 82 65 83 84
DATA> 483222 94 95 95 94
DATA> 666777 62 52 61 100
DATA> 456899 73 84 72 71
DATA> 333231 95 72 100 91

If you have made a mistake and are still on the same data line, you can use the backspace key, and then retype the line correctly. If you are past the line the error is in, just keep typing. Then when you are all done you can fix the error. For example, if the 5th row of column 2 should be a 71, you could fix it by typing this:

MTB> LET C2(5)=71

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