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This information is intended to convey the underlying concepts for Reclamation's decision processes. It is not mandatory.
See the Reclamation Manual for official Reclamation-wide requirements.

Reclamation's Decision Process Guide

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This tool is used to:

This also helps determine if common sense assumptions hold up: for example, are there more inquiries about irrigation in a dry year? Or does the number of inquiries vary more with the price of corn? Scatter diagrams take matrix diagrams one step further by analyzing trends in relationships between variables. A scatter diagram can identify possible relationships between two vectors. It can also be used to pinpoint items that are not in line with the majority of items.


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If you want to go beyond this level of detail, use a statistical software package such as SPSS to further analyze your data. Keep in mind the limitations statistical analysis imposes.

  1. Plot one variable along the horizontal (x) axis and another variable along the vertical (y) axis.
  2. Collect data for these variables for each item you want to look at (alternatives, issues, publics, etc.).
  3. Plot data for each item on the graph.

The plotted points will usually form a clustered pattern. The direction and proximity of these points will indicate the strength and pattern of the relationship. Statistical tests can determine the exact degree of correlation.


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Please contact Deena Larsen 303-445-2584 with questions or comments on this material.