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# Inferential Data Analysis in Research

How do you define inferential data analysis? When would you use inferential data analysis in research?

What is the best way to visually depict market research data? Why? What is the importance of using text and graphs to illustrate research findings within a research report? What are some important components of a research report?

#### Solution Preview

To begin with, I will firstly define descriptive data to help you understand.

Essentially, descriptive are used to 'describe' raw data. For example, when you have a bunch of numbers (raw data), this does not provide the researcher with any useful information. We would calculate descriptive stats on the data to better understand what the number mean. As well, we can take perhaps hundreds of data points and calculate descriptive stats and have one overall number that might be meaningful to the researcher.

What are some examples of stats that can be conducted?

Mean
Mode
Median

As well, a graphical representation of data would be descriptive stats such as a frequency table.

So in summary, it is essentially taking data and describe it such that it is easy for a researcher to read.

Inferential stats on the other hand, you are looking at the descriptive stats and taking it one step further. You are trying to analyze the data or to infer conclusions from the data. We make judgement on the data. We can compare two sets of data to each other.

When looking at inferential stats, we are trying to see if we can make inferences (conclusions or analysis) on a set of data. We can't just eye ball the data, we need to actually sit down and compute statistics to make a statistically sound conclusion on the data. This is what distinguishes inferential stats from descriptive stats that just looks at the data from a superficial point of view.

One example would be a t-test - it is a statistic that we compute to see if there are any significant differences between two groups. This here will give us an interpretation of the data - it goes beyond describing it.
Other stats include
ANOVA
MANOVA
regression analysis
factor analysis

All of these are used to see if trends or differences exists.

What are some real life examples in research situation?

- In my line of work, I would do is try to see if there is a significant difference in project costing. What we would look at is the cost of projects that took the agency under 6 weeks to complete, vs. projects that take more then six weeks. This is a quality control check to ...

#### Solution Summary

Inferential data analysis is defined. The solution has a discussion of the best way to visually depict market research data.

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