The PAT Learner Guide mentions working with a data set other than the data set derived from the Questionnaire. From what I can tell it then does not award any marks for this extra work in the rubric. Based on the principle of “better safe than sorry” as well as an opportunity to find data that allows additional opportunities for the use of all the required Excel functions, I always make certain it is done.
It is vitally important to note that the requirements around the data collected have changed this year (2021) for the Grade 12 PAT. The requirements are more specific, especially regarding the “extra data from a source other than your questionnaire” of previous years. You will be expected to collect data from a separate source and compare the information derived from your questionnaire to this extra data source — this will require a bit of extra planning to ensure that you can find data “external” data to match with your questionnaire data.
In my post Phase 2 Excel analysis I discuss how to fulfil the requirements for “Level 4” analysis. Finding a data set specifically for this purpose makes a lot of sense.
For example, you could collect a data set from an American website containing data that needs to be converted from gallons to litres and use the CONVERT function.