Descriptive vs Inferential Statistics

What is Descriptive Statistics?

Descriptive statistics are numbers, such as mean, mode, and standard deviation, that summarize or describe a given data set. They typically pertain to measures of central tendency and measures of spread.


What is inferential Statistics?

Inferential statistics are when we make judgements and prediction based on a given data set. Sometimes, this is a prediction about a population based on a sample.


Example 1:

We take a sample of 100,000 high school students and find that 80,000 dislike math.

Descriptive: 80% of the high school students in this sample dislike math.

Inferential: 80% of all high school students dislike math.


Example 2:

On monday I sold 10 cars and my friend sold 15 cars, on tuesday I sold 5 cars and my friend sold 15 cars, and on wednesday I sold 15 cars and my friend sold 30 cars.

Descriptive: The average amount of cars I sold every day is 10 and the average amount of cars my friend sold is 20 cars.

Inferential: My friend sells more cars than me on average because I suck.

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