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Descriptive Statistics

One of the most basic statistical analysis is descriptive analysis. Descriptive statistics can summarize responses fro large numbers of respondents in a few simple statistics. When a sample is obtained, the sample descriptive statistics are used to make inferences about characteristics of the entire population of interests. Descriptive analysis is the transformation of data in a way that describes the basic characteristics such as tendency, distribution, and variables. A examples of this would be if a company wanted to find out what type of bonus employees prefer. Descriptive statistics are used to explain the basic properties of these variables.

One descriptive statistics that is used to explain the basic properties of variables is Mean, Median, and Modes. These terms all would be descriptive statistics for the above example by describing the central tendency in different ways. The mean would reflect the average answer that is given. The Median would provide the answer that is the central, or middle range answer. The mode would be the answer that was given the most often.

A second descriptive statistic that is used to explain the basic properties of variables is Tabulation. This refers to the orderly arrangement of data in a table or other summary format. When the tabulation process is done by hand, the term tallying is used. Simple tabulation tells how frequently each response or bit of information occurs.

A third descriptive statistic used to explain the basic properties of variables is Cross Tabulation. This techniques is used for addressing research questions involving relationships among multiple less than interval variables. One key factor in interpreting a cross tabulation table is comparing the observed table values with the hypothetical values that could result from pure chance.

A fourth descriptive statistic used to explain the basic properties of variables is Percentage Cross Tabulation. This is used when data from a survey are cross tabulated, percentages help the researcher to better understand the nature of the relationship by making relative comparisons easier. The total number of respondents or observations may be used as a statistical base for computing the percentage in each cell.

A fifth descriptive statistic used to explain the basic property of variables is Elaboration Analysis. This involves the basic cross tabulation within various subgroups of a sample. The researcher breaks down the analysis for each level of another variable. A very easy example to understand this method is research were conducted to compare and contrast two different groups with one common variable. Married men more frequently shop at Target than single men.

The descriptive statistic that is most commonly used in my work place is Percentage Cross Tabulation. Being in the field of education, there are so many different types of statistics per student that the most effective way to compare and contrast is by using the percentage cross tabulation.

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