To carry out a cladistics analysis, there are seven steps that I detail in specific pages:
- Select the sample.
- Select the characters.
- Code character values.
- Choose a transformation (evolutionary) cost.
- Choose the outgroup
- Use a clever algorithm.
- Consensus trees.
- Assess the robustness of the tree.
At each step 1 to 6, there are several possible choices. Items 7 and 8 should give ideas about the statistical significance of the result. The reading of the trees in terms of character evolutions and groupings in sub-branches is also another tool that should be used to decide whether and at which step the analysis should be performed again and differently.