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Integrated sessions: Mastering data with software

People rarely feel indifferent to data, it is usually either loved or hated. Data is, however, an important aspect of most job roles or courses of study. The importance of data goes beyond just work and studies. In our daily lives, we are often presented with data on a regular basis. Whether you are comparing data tariffs for your energy provider or looking at figures related to the coronavirus pandemic, data literacy is important.

When considering data in the context of digital literacy, the focus is often on data management, analysis and visualisation. This page is designed to briefly introduce you to some of the software available to you as a member of staff or student at the University of Hull. 

Microsoft 365 Tools

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications

With a Microsoft 365 account, you can install Microsoft Excel on your own devices (including Windows & macOS computers as well as Android and Apple phones or tablets).

*Login with your University of Hull email and password

Microsoft Access

Access is probably the least well-known application in the MS Office suite. It is however incredibly useful for a small number of student/staff researchers who need to store and manage large amounts of related data.

Many people start using Access when the program that they are using to keep track of something gradually becomes less fit for the task. For students and researchers, it may be that you need a bespoke system to store your research data, timetable, participant list or budget.

*Staff can login with their University of Hull email and password

Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. Your data may be an Excel spreadsheet, or a collection of cloud-based and on-premises hybrid data warehouses. Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, visualize and discover what's important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.

Specialist Software


NVivo is a qualitative data analysis computer software package produced by QSR International. It has been designed for qualitative researchers working with very rich text-based and/or multimedia information, where deep levels of analysis on small or large volumes of data are required.

IBM SPSS Statistics

SPSS Statistics is a software package used for interactive, or batched, statistical analysis.


ArcGIS is a geographic information system for working with maps and geographic information. It is used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and discovering geographic information, using maps and geographic information in a range of applications, and managing geographic information in a database.

You can also access geospatial information via DigiMap (academic use only).


R is a programming language and free software environment for statistical computing and graphics supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing. The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis. Polls, data mining surveys, and studies of scholarly literature databases show substantial increases in popularity

Laurence Anthony

Laurence Anthony has developed a suite of free software focused on linguistics and corpus analysis.