Creating a New Binary Variable

Using the New Variable - Binary Function

The NEW VARIABLE - BINARY function, part of the NEW VARIABLE MENU in EZAnalyze, allows you to create a new variable (or variables) that are scored as either a 0 or a 1 - a process also known as 'dummy coding'. This is a very useful, and probably underutilized tool. For example, if you wanted to create a disaggregation graph using the percent of people who 'agreed' or 'strongly agreed' with your survey question, you can create a new binary variable that is scored a 1 if people selected 'agree' or 'strongly agree', and a 0 if they did not. This is useful because binary variables that are scored as a 0 or a 1 have a 'special property', and that special property is that the mean of a binary variable with values of 0 or 1 is the percent of people who scored a one.

To create a new binary variable for your data, select the "New Variable" option from the EZAnalyze menu in Excel, then select "Binary Variable".

In the "New Binary Variables" dialogue box, select one variable to convert from list on the left. When you click on a variable, you will see the list under 'Current Values' populate. Each value you select will be converted into a new binary variable on your data sheet.


  • Create a single binary variable... - check this box if you would like all of your selected values to be converted into a single binary variable. In the example above, you would select values 4 and 5, and check this box to create the appropriate binary variable.
  • Create more binary variables - check this box if you are planning on making more binary variables. It is simply a time saver.

When you click OK, a new column will be added to your data sheet for each value you selected in the 'current values' box. Each new variable will have the original variable name, '_Bin_' and the selected value as the new variable name.

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