Inferential statistics are distinguished from descriptive statistics. It infers underlying distributions from and beyond observed data, as opposed to summarization of data.

Examples of inferential statistics include testing hypothesises and deriving estimates, while examples of descriptive statistics include sample size, mean and standard deviations.

Inferential statistics aims to provide insights on the generating process of data, which requires a statistical model on how the data is generated/sampled, followed by methods to distil underlying properties. Whereas descriptive statistics aims to understand the data alone.

Inferential Statistics | Descriptive Statistics | |
---|---|---|

goal | infer underlying distribution from and beyond observed data | summarization of observed data |

generative | yes | no |

requires statistical model | yes | no |

examples | testing hypothesises, deriving estimates | sample size, mean and standard deviations |

References:

[1] Wikipedia: statistical inference

[2] Wikipedia: descriptive statistics

## One Reply to “Inferential vs. Descriptive Statistics”