descriptive statistics
(noun)Definition of descriptive statistics
A branch of mathematics dealing with summarization and description of collections of data sets, including the concepts of arithmetic mean, median, and mode.
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Examples of descriptive statistics in the following topics:

Descriptive or Inferential Statistics?
 Descriptive Statistics vs.
 Descriptive statistics are distinguished from inferential statistics in that descriptive statistics aim to summarize a sample, rather than use the data to learn about the population that the sample of data is thought to represent.
 This generally means that descriptive statistics, unlike inferential statistics, are not developed on the basis of probability theory.
 Even when a data analysis draws its main conclusions using inferential statistics, descriptive statistics are generally also presented.
 Descriptive Statistics Descriptive statistics provides simple summaries about the sample and about the observations that have been made.
 Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics are both important components of statistics when learning about a population.

Distorting the Truth with Descriptive Statistics
 Descriptive statistics can be manipulated in many ways that can be misleading.
 Statistical Bias Bias is another common distortion in the field of descriptive statistics.
 Exclusion bias arises due to the systematic exclusion of certain individuals from the study Limitations of Descriptive Statistics Descriptive statistics is a powerful form of research because it collects and summarizes vast amounts of data and information in a manageable and organized manner.
 To illustrate you can use descriptive statistics to calculate a raw GPA score, but a raw GPA does not reflect: how difficult the courses were, or the identity of major fields and disciplines in which courses were taken.
 In other words, every time you try to describe a large set of observations with a single descriptive statistics indicator, you run the risk of distorting the original data or losing important detail.
 Descriptive statistics can be manipulated in many ways that can be misleading, including the changing of scale and statistical bias.

The Average and the Histogram
 The shape of the distribution can assist with identifying other descriptive statistics, such as which measure of central tendency is appropriate to use.
 The shape of a histogram can assist with identifying other descriptive statistics, such as which measure of central tendency is appropriate to use.

Applications of Statistics
 Statistics also provides tools for prediction and forecasting.
 This is called descriptive statistics .
 Descriptive statistics and analysis of the new data tend to provide more information as to the truth of the proposition.The Statistical Process When applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or societal problems, it is necessary to begin with a population or process to be studied.
 Descriptive statistics summarize the population data by describing what was observed in the sample numerically or graphically.
 Probability is used in "mathematical statistics" (alternatively, "statistical theory") to study the sampling distributions of sample statistics and, more generally, the properties of statistical procedures.
 Statistics deals with all aspects of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.

Graphs of Qualitative Data
 Statistics that describe or summarize can be produced for quantitative data and to a lesser extent for qualitative data.
 Therefore, all descriptive statistics can be calculated using quantitative data.
 As qualitative data represent individual (mutually exclusive) categories, the descriptive statistics that can be calculated are limited, as many of these techniques require numeric values which can be logically ordered from lowest to highest and which express a count.

Graphs for Quantitative Data
 Plots play an important role in statistics and data analysis.
 Histogram: In statistics, a histogram is a graphical representation of the distribution of data.
 Box plot: In descriptive statistics, a boxplot, also known as a boxandwhisker diagram, is a convenient way of graphically depicting groups of numerical data through their fivenumber summaries (the smallest observation, lower quartile (Q1), median (Q2), upper quartile (Q3), and largest observation).

The Role of the Model
 Descriptive statistics are typically used as a preliminary step before more formal inferences are drawn.
 The assumptions made about the process generating the data are much fewer than in parametric statistics and may be minimal.

Typical Shapes
 Distribution Shapes In statistics, distributions can take on a variety of shapes.
 Considerations of the shape of a distribution arise in statistical data analysis, where simple quantitative descriptive statistics and plotting techniques, such as histograms, can lead to the selection of a particular family of distributions for modelling purposes.

Which Standard Deviation (SE)?
 However, the mean and standard deviation are descriptive statistics, whereas the mean and standard error describes bounds on a random sampling process.

Interpreting a Confidence Interval
 Descriptive statistics  This is closely related to the method of moments for estimation.