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Inferential statistics is a branch of statistics in which conclusions are drawn from data that were not used to collect the data. In contrast, descriptive statistics involves using information from a sample of the population to draw conclusions about the whole population.
In inferential statistics, you take what you have learned from your study and generalise it to a larger group - in most cases, this means making predictions about how likely certain behaviours, characteristics or other traits are for an entire population based on data collected from a subset of that population (i.e., you learn something about part of the whole).
One of the most important applications of inferential statistics is hypothesis testing. In hypothesis testing, you use data from a sample to test a specific hypothesis about that sample. If the data support the hypothesis, you can be reasonably sure that the hypothesis is true for the population as a whole. If the data do not support the hypothesis, you can conclude that the hypothesis is false for the population as a whole.
On the other hand, descriptive statistics tell us about our data but don't show how those data might generalise to a larger population. Descriptive statistics can give us a good idea of the shape of our data, the center of our data, and the variability of our data. But it can't tell us anything about any of those characteristics.
One important application of descriptive statistics is in constructing confidence intervals. A confidence interval is a range of values within which we can be 95% certain that the true value for the population lies.
The answer is that both inferential and descriptive statistics are important. Descriptive statistics tell us about the characteristics of our data, and inferential statistics help us draw conclusions from those data. Inferential statistics are more useful for making predictions about a larger population.
The difference between inferential and descriptive statistical analyses is that inferential makes use of probabilities to find the answer, whereas the latter makes use of non-probability to draw conclusions that may or may not be valid if taken as conclusive evidence to support an inference.
The following table elaborates the difference between descriptive and inferential statistics:
So, inferential statistics is more important than descriptive statistics as it helps in making predictions about a larger population on the basis of data collected from a subset of that population. However, both play an important role in any data analysis.
When studying at higher levels, like at the graduate or postgraduate level, you will be required to use inferential statistics almost exclusively. This is because your research will focus on generalising populations rather than describing the characteristics of individual data points. However, descriptive statistics are still important for understanding your data and for constructing confidence intervals. In short, inferential statistics helps us make predictions about populations, while descriptive statistics helps us understand our data. Both types of statistics are important for any data analysis.
Inferential vs descriptive is a common comparison in data analysis. While descriptive statistics simply describe data, inferential stats make use of probabilities to find answers about populations. Inferential stats are more important than descriptive, as they help in making predictions about larger populations. However, both are important for data analysis in general.
Statistics is a branch of mathematics that deals with collecting, analysing, interpreting, presenting, and organisation of data. It is used in a variety of fields, including business, economics, health care, and sociology. Most students find Statistics to be a challenging subject. This is because it involves a lot of concepts that are new to them. In addition, there are a lot of formulas to remember and techniques to apply. If you are struggling with your Statistics coursework, don't worry. You can get assistance from our professionals via guided sessions of Statistics Assignment Help. My Assignment Services are always there for you! Just ask us by filling the form.
Warren Armstrong is a professional statistician who has worked with the Australian Bureau of Statistics for a long time, then became a private tutor before he was a statistics assignment writing expert at My Assignment Services. He has published several works in the field of statistics before shifting to assignment guidance. He offers help and consultation to the students for writing their assignment in the form of tips, explanation of complex topics, resolving queries and providing live sessions. Warren has helped a number of students with their assignments.
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