What is descriptive analysis?

One of the approaches for the study and analysis of the studies that are extracted from statistical methods is that of descriptive analysis. A type of approach with which the data is analyzed proceeding to its description and without a prior hypothesis that should or should not be falsified. What is descriptive analysis?

Descriptive analysis in statistics

The statistic is the discipline responsible for studying the behavior of entities and individuals, whether to observe social groups or sets of scientific data.

In the case of descriptive analysis statistics, this type of methodology provides an approach by which a summary of information is made from the data of a sample. That is, its goal is to synthesize the information to provide precision, simplicity, and clarify and order the data.

For example, the census of people who came to the hospital in a given year or month is descriptive analysis. After collecting the data, they will be presented through graphs or infographics describing them.

What is the goal of descriptive analysis?

The descriptive analysis answers some question asked at the beginning of the statistical display to:

  • Collect and order information through graphics and visual media.
  • Extract the most representative characteristics of a data collection.
  • Describe trends.

Descriptive analysis: keys and drawbacks

One of the main characteristics and benefits of descriptive analysis is that the researcher maintains a neutral position that does not manipulate the data due to personal biases. Thus, descriptive analysis has advantages such as:

  • It is an expansive method that delves into events very broadly.
  • It supposes a precise method to collect information and to proceed later to describe the relationships that exist between the data.
  • Thanks to this analysis, the researcher can get closer to understanding a problem or phenomenon. Population traits can be ascertained using quantitative as well as qualitative information.

Among the disadvantages and negative points of this type of analysis:

  • When conducting surveys as a data collection method, it must be borne in mind that the people surveyed may give inaccurate answers, affecting the quality of the analysis itself.
  • To obtain the data you need, the survey design must be appropriate and fit for purpose.
  • There is a danger that research bias will appear due to the tendency to validate expected data and discard those that do not fit with the previous study design. A way must be found to incorporate these data into the analysis, even if they open up new questions to be solved.
  • Avoid generalizing and constructing conclusions based on a described case.

Thus, statistical descriptive analysis can proceed by applying variables to the data to shape the information and associate it through means, ratios, averages, and proportions. To describe a trend or the characteristics of the population , a controlled sample is usually taken from it and the conclusions extrapolated to the rest of the individuals.

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