What is Descriptive Statistics

Definition of descriptive statistics

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Statistical methods for describing and evaluating data are summarized under descriptive statistics. This can be done in the form of graphs and tables, by calculating simple parameters such as the mean value and by calculating more complex parameters such as the spread, the standard deviation or the correlation coefficient. The decisive characteristic of descriptive statistics is that statements are only made about the data set itself. In a survey, descriptive statistical parameters only describe what applies to the participants in a survey / observation themselves. If conclusions for a population are to be made from the data, inductive statistics methods are used. An example: In a survey, 10,000 respondents stated how much money they earn each month and how much money they spend on vacation travel each year. The calculated correlation coefficient shows that there is a connection between income and willingness to spend on vacation. This conclusion only applies to the respondents themselves - it is only possible to draw conclusions about the population that the respondents are supposed to represent after a significance test. This test is part of the inductive statistics.

Please note that the individual definitions in our statistics lexicon are simplified explanations. The aim here is to bring the individual terms closer to the broadest possible user group. In this respect, it is possible that individual definitions do not fully correspond to scientific standards.