Descriptive statistics is statistical tools or techniques used to describe a sample or a population. Descriptive statistics reduce large data into a simpler summary. For example, a mean, median or mode is a descriptive statistic. Descriptive statistics is widely used in medical research studies. Descriptive statistics describe patterns and general trends in a data set. In most cases, descriptive statistics are used to examine or explore one variable at a time. However, the relationship between two variables can also be described as with correlation and regression. Descriptive statistics describe the basic features of the data gathered from an experimental study.
Descriptive statistics provide simple summaries about the sample and the measures. With simple graphics analysis, they form the basis of virtually every quantitative analysis of data. Descriptive statistics are distinguished from inductive statistics. Data analysis draws its main conclusions using inductive statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics describe patterns and general trends in a data set. Descriptive statistics are used to examine or explore one variable at a time. The relationship between two variables can also be described as with correlation and regression.
If we are performing a formal hypothesis test on the data collected, we are actually doing inductive analysis rather than descriptive analysis.
Presenting simple descriptive statistics from
household survey data
Paul Glewwe, Department of Applied Economics - Michael Levin, United States Bureau of the Census
Abstract: The present chapter provides general guidelines for calculating and displaying basic descriptive statistics for household survey data.
Descriptive Statistics: Where They Sit and How They Fall. - Janes, Joseph
Abstract: Discusses the basics of descriptive statistics for library and information sciences. Highlights include levels of measurement, including nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio; graphs; measures of central tendency, including mean, median, and mode; and measures of dispersion.