Nazarbayev University
Graduate School of Education

Graduate School of Education

Research news


Graduate School of Education Develops First Statistical Software Program in Kazakh

  1. Assistant Professor NUGSE Matthew Courtney and his team have developed the First Statistical Software Program in Kazakh. To find out more about the Program, please refer to our interview below.

Could you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a statistical software developer from New Zealand, and I teach quantitative research methods at the Graduate School of Education.


So, now there is a statistical software program available in the Kazakh language?

Correct! We believe that this is a first for modern statistical software. The translation of the software was part of a broad collaboration with both Kazakh and international partners. My graduate students and I worked with ministerial language authorities to ensure accuracy of translation and local think tanks for quality control.


How long did the translation take?

Around four months in total. The translation not only included the interface but all possible statistical outputs. In total, we translated close to 2000 strings, 14000 words, and 97000 characters.


Can you talk about some of the advantages of using the Jamovi software itself?

Statistical software accessibility was one of the perennial issues that we identified on the GSE Quality Review Committee. Our school used to universally use IBM SPSS to teach quantitative methods. However, students could only use this software in labs or via a one-month trial version. As many of our students don’t live on campus, this was a big problem.

Unlike IBM SPSS, the Jamovi software is completely free on desktops and is available in the cloud.

Can the software perform all the necessary forms of statistical analyses?

Absolutely. As part of my audit of our theses, I recorded 12 common forms of statistical analyses including scale reliability, cross-tabs, t-tests, ANOVAs, MANOVA, correlation, linear regression, exploratory factor analysis, multi-level regression, confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modelling, and Rasch analyses. While SPSS can only perform the first eight of these, Jamovi does all 12 with the ease of a point-and-click interface.


You mention a “point-and-click” interface. Sounds more user-friendly! Any other advantages?

Good question. Yes, Jamovi is considered a “third generation” statistical software program. For example, unlike SPSS, Jamovi (1) uses a single window that includes “data, analyses, and outputs”, (2) makes use of reactive programming so you immediately see the results, and (3) presents all outputted tables and text in APA format that can be copied directly into manuscripts. You can also use Jamovi pedagogically as you get students to run resampling procedures using R code to help them grasp basic concepts like t-distributions and F-distributions.


What do you think might be the wider impact of translating the program into Kazakh?

Well, Nazarbayev Universities primary strategic goal is “Higher Education Reform Leadership” which involves ensuring that the NU experience can be transferred and understood by other universities.


Previously, it was very difficult for Kazakh-speaking graduate students in other universities to undertake a quantitative-focussed research project, even if they were privileged to have access to a commercial statistical software as this would not be available in their mother tongue. Now, with this free and comprehensive software available in Kazakh, quantitative research is made far more accessible.


I recently conducted two graduate workshops on how to use Jamovi at the Kazakh National Women’s Teacher Training University and KAZGUU. Students and staff were excited and will be switching to Jamovi for teaching quantitative methods in the coming semesters.