What is the role of relational databases in research design and hypothesis testing?

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    Alexis Brown
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    I am taking a database management course with a focus on relational databases as
    part of the requirements of a degree program. One of the course requirements is
    to apply relational database techniques to a case study. In other words,
    students have been asked to identify a hypothesis and research questions, the
    variables to test the hypothesis, design database tables to input the variables,
    and populate the database/ link tables. I am confused regarding how relational
    databases relate to these kinds of research analysis issues…it had always been
    my understanding that quantitative research was usually analyzed using some sort
    of statistical package (e.g. SPSS, SAS, R etc). I would appreciate it if anyone
    could elaborate 1. why relational databases would be used to analyze statistical
    data (as opposed to a statistical package) and 2. how does a relational database
    differ from a statistical package? Thanks in advance for any clarity you can
    provide regarding this topic as it relates to research design/ analysis.

    PS

    I understand that a relational database is for storing the data while a 
    statistical package is used to analyze the data, HOWEVER, I am not clear on how the hypothesis and research questions fit into the relational database.  Again, any comments would be much appreciated.

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