Boosting The Power of Data Conversion in Academic Quantitative Research: PDF2XL

“I don’t think my research project would have been possible without PDF2XL.” -Ryan Santangelo, PhD Research Student

The Problem:

The aim of quantitative research is to determine the relationship between one thing (an independent variable) and another (a dependent or outcome variable) in a population. Ryan Santangelo, a PhD research student at Minnesota-based Capella University, faced a mountain of data entry in his aim to research what the Department of Defense’s brokered deals and spending strategies had over innovative practices of defense contractors as measured by patents registered by those contractors.

All of the data needed for Santangelo’s research was readily available in PDF form on the DoD and USPTO (US patent Office) Web sites. Santangelo initially planned to key all the information into SPSS for analysis. The amount of data was overwhelming.

Facing a research and data entry time-crunch, Santangelo had to limit the scope of the research to analyze two years of DoD spending in comparison with patents registered by 10 specific defense contractors.

Even with the reduced research scope, the amount of data represented thousands and thousands of data items that had to be keyed into SPSS. Santangelo realized his initial plan to key in the information into SPSS for analysis was not going to work. He resolved to find a program to enable him to overcome the time-consuming barrier of data entry.

The Solution:

Santangelo found PDF2XL and immediately understood that it was the answer to his data entry problem. PDF2XL offered Santangelo a significant reduction in the hours involved in data entry.

“I was able to take a 4000 page PDF report from the DoD web site and easily convert the data into SPSS or Excel saving me 99% of the time it would have taken to manually key the data in,” said Santangelo.

PDF2XL also offered Santangelo the ability to significantly reduce errors that typically arise during heavy data entry.

The Results:

With PDF2XL, Santangelo was also able to expand the scope of his study’s research to a four year study of the DoD spending and patent registration encompassing 100 defense contractors over the same period.

Santangelo’s ability to enlarge the scope of his study through utilizing PDF2XL from 2 years to 4 years of key data and records from the DoD and the USPTO, furthered the credibility for the entire research project.

“I don’t think my research project would have been possible without PDF2XL,” said Santangelo.

Many academic research projects are based on data provided by government agencies and other sources in PDF format. PDF2XL can drastically reduce the amount of work involved in getting the data in your statistical software and let you focus on what’s most important doing the research.

Interested in using PDF2XL?