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Essentials of PANDA Version 1.1

PANDA is written in HTML, and runs from CD exactly like from a web site, using Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.  It can be copied to your C: drive, or run directly from your CD-drive (often E:);

To start PANDA you can:
- go into the file manager  (usually Windows Explorer) and double-click on index.html
click on the START button on the bottom left hand of your screen and click on RUN; specify the CD drive (often E:) and select the file index.html
- copy all files from the CD to a new folder in your C:, and go through a similar route

PANDA covers practical handling of nutritional data for situation analysis, programme planning, application to evaluation, and related topics, mostly using cross-sectional sample survey data for illustration and exercises;

the exercises are an integral part of the package, and you can see the datasets (.sav or .por files) on the disc in the folder called PANDA Datasets (read only files on the CD, so it is best to copy the datasets to your C: in order to use them with PANDA);

SPSS (with a dataset imported) should be run AT THE SAME TIME as the PANDA, using Windows to go between the two, as described later in this section; this is an important aspect of using the package, and the method should be understood (if it’s not already familiar) at an early stage; an EpiInfo version may be prepared when there is a suitable release of EPI-INFO for Windows;

the package is constructed with a ‘backbone’ of Chapters (1 through 7, as yet) which aims to take you through the process of analysis in a logical sequence, with details and exercises reached through clicking on hot buttons; it must be stressed that this leads to a menu of methods, which are then used as needed depending on the specific research question, usually going frequently between different routines: scatterplotting, tabulation comparing means, and regression are a common combination;

PANDA is presently intended for use in conjunction with SPSS, with EPI-INFO or an alternative. 

anthropometry is used as the main outcome variable in the present version; links to use for micronutrient data are shown in some places, but the content will be in the next version; a later version will have modules aimed at assessment in emergencies;

a few modules are not yet accessible, indicated by the message that the file cannot be found (those not yet available to the PANDA versions issued are marked to distinguish those files and to indicate the intentions for completion)

Navigation in PANDA

PANDA is being created as a teaching tool for the basics of nutrition data cleaning and analysis. Analysis PANDA guides the user through 7 chapters on cleaning, analysis of data, anthropometrics, graphing, etc.  In order to use the package effectively, getting to know how to navigate within the package is essential.  The following information will prepare you to use the package with ease -- but if you're anxious to see how it works you can skip this part for now and start straight in (you can use the 'Back' button to retrace your steps).  You can't do any harm, although you might get lost ...

PANDA is run through a web browser, so it appears that you are accessing an interactive web page with active hot buttons.   The PANDA is actually run from a CDROM, which allows for uninterrupted use of the package from the CD drive (usually D: drive) on your computer.  Now that you have opened PANDA from your computer through a web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator), which accessed the PANDA home file, you have noticed that there are HOT buttons  in red that link between different LEVELS of the program.  The LEVELS of the Analysis module are:

Level I           PANDA Home page links to all modules, including Analysis

Level II         Table of contents plus side bar/ bottom bar buttons and search facility

Level III        Lead in and contents for each chapter

Level IV       Main text

Level V         Files containing details, exercises and other information accessed from hot buttons in higher levels.


Level I was the HOME page that opened first that allows for navigation to all modules.

Level II- IV of the analysis module displays the panda analysis  icon in the top left corner to indicate that you are in the  backbone of PANDA (only level V Hotlinks do not have the panda, indicating that you are in an exercise or definition hotlink).  

For level I, there are several key navigation buttons to be aware of.  The page is broken into two regions, the main page and the side bar on the left (see below).  The main page lists the Chapters and its contents, where each Chapter heading in red is a hot button that links to the primary chapter pages.  The side bar includes all of the basics that are necessary to operate PANDA, such as this page on How to Use PANDA, as well as System Requirements, the Basics of SPSS, the Basics of EPI-INFO, and a Glossary of Terms. Any time you need to return to this PANDA Directory, find the button marked PANDA Directory or PANDA Table of Contents on any page.  There is also the SEARCH facility, which is used instead of the familiar index in the back of the book.  This also allows you to directly link to the section that has been found.   As you remember, here is what you see on Level II.

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For Level III (chapter lead pages), there is a simple navigator bar which looks like this:

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Using this navigator bar gives a choice to connect to the PANDA Directory or to the start -- 'Page 1' -- of the main text in the current chapter.   Place the cursor over the bar and the hand appears: click and you're back in level II.  Place the cursor over 'Page 1', click and you're in the main text itself, at level V.  This is usually where you want to be to start work. 

Once you are in Level V  (main text) the navigation bars appear like the one below, which is marked with numbers to show the function of each area on the bar:

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1 Navigates to the chapter lead in that lists that chapter's contents (taking you from Level V to Level III)

2 Navigates to the PANDA Directory (from Level IV to Level II)

3 Navigates to the previous  page in the same chapter (within Level IV between text pages)

4 Navigates to the next page in the same chapter.


When in Level V -- reached by hot buttons (in red, usually saying 'click here' or some such instruction) -- returning back to the main document is simply done by clicking on the hot button in the top left corner that might read "Return to One-way Page 1", for example. In Level IV hot buttons, exercises are often given to perform data analysis in SPSS.  It is important to realize that using both SPSS and PANDA at the same time is easy and an important feature of the package.  It just involves understanding how to "window" and "tile".

Windowing-    is a user-friendly way in Microsoft Windows to open two or more programs (e.g. SPSS or Internet Explorer) at once.  Each program occupies a WINDOW that is represented by rectangular boxes at the bottom of the screen (labeled by their program name, e.g. SPSS Data Editor or Microsoft Internet Navigator).  Each window can be activated (only one is active at any one moment) by clicking on the coordinating box at the botton of the screen.  This will allow you to use of both SPSS and PANDA together. To create windows, simply open more than one program at a time and the access buttons automatically appear at the bottom of the screen.

Tiling -  is having two programs (e.g. SPSS and PANDA) showing on the computer monitor at one time, not just as a button at the bottom, but visible on the monitor.  Although the windows function allows for multiple programs to be open at once, it is TILING that allows for information from several programs to show on the screen. This is not necessary, but useful when using PANDA because it allows for both the instructions for PANDA exercises to show while you run the exercise on a data set in SPSS. For windows based systems, there are buttons in the top right-hand corner of the screen that allow for full screen or tiling of the programs.  Open another program such as SPSS now, and click on the button for tiling (shown below on the right). 



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Once the two programs (PANDA and SPSS, preferably with SPSS tiled on top for readability) are tiled, move the mouse to the border of the tiled screen and an double-sided arrow will appear.  Click the left mouse button when the arrow appears and adjust the size of the tiled window so that one program shows on the top half of the monitor and the other on the bottom half of the monitor.  The image below is an example of how tiling will look on the monitor.  Notice the Internet explorer running on the top half and the SPSS on the bottom half; this is what you should see when you have properly tiled two programs.


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Here, the top tile is the Internet Explorer open to a page in PANDA teaching Histograms and the bottom tile is SPSS open to a data set used to create this type of Histogram.  Around the sides of the tiles, the windows background and several program shortcut buttons are visible as well.  This is to indicate that additional programs can also be opened and tiled on the screen at the same time, although for most purposes only the two shown here will be needed.  The program you need is automatically activated when you click on the relevant portion of the screen -- for example if you start to scroll, or click on a button.  The currently activated program is indicated by the bar at the top of its tile turning blue (activated) or grey (in limbo).

You can use the full screen, which some prefer for viewing data and results, by clicking on the full screen icon in the top right corner.  You can use SPSS without tiling at all, by maximizing and minimizing between SPSS and PANDA.   You can even print the relevant pages of the PANDA and use it as a manual so it's not open on the computer at all.  Like analysis itself, there are many options, and often no right or wrong way -- experiment and see which ways are the best for your current use and stage of learning ...

Setting Up PANDA for SPSS

Go to the side bar labeled Basics of Using SPSS, which will provide simple instructions to set up SPSS so that you can use it with the PANDA package with ease.  This will only take a couple of minutes and will save a lot of time for you while you use PANDA.  There is also a basic introduction to Statistical Analysis for those of you who are unfamiliar with the statistical package.   On the average, PANDA provides such direct and simple instruction for using SPSS that a user can have limited to no knowledge on using the SPSS package, and still have no problems learning the skills of data analysis.  Go back to the PANDA directory and click on the side bar button Basics of Using SPSS and then if you need more instruction visit the button labeled Basics of Stats Analysis.

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