Statistical Analysis in Research: Meaning, Methods and Types

The scientific method is an empirical approach to acquiring new knowledge by making skeptical observations and analyses to develop a meaningful interpretation. It is the basis of research and the primary pillar of modern science. Researchers seek to understand the relationships between factors associated with the phenomena of interest. In some cases, research works with vast chunks of data, making it difficult to observe or manipulate each data point. As a result, statistical analysis in research becomes a means of evaluating relationships and interconnections between variables with tools and analytical techniques for working with large data. Since researchers use statistical power analysis to assess the probability of finding an effect in such an investigation, the method is relatively accurate. Hence, statistical analysis in research eases analytical methods by focusing on the quantifiable aspects of phenomena.

What is Statistical Analysis in Research? A Simplified Definition

Statistical analysis uses quantitative data to investigate patterns, relationships, and patterns to understand real-life and simulated phenomena. The approach is a key analytical tool in various fields, including academia, business, government, and science in general. This statistical analysis in research definition implies that the primary focus of the scientific method is quantitative research. Notably, the investigator targets the constructs developed from general concepts as the researchers can quantify their hypotheses and present their findings in simple statistics.

When a business needs to learn how to improve its product, they collect statistical data about the production line and customer satisfaction. Qualitative data is valuable and often identifies the most common themes in the stakeholders’ responses. On the other hand, the quantitative data creates a level of importance, comparing the themes based on their criticality to the affected persons. For instance, descriptive statistics highlight tendency, frequency, variation, and position information. While the mean shows the average number of respondents who value a certain aspect, the variance indicates the accuracy of the data. In any case, statistical analysis creates simplified concepts used to understand the phenomenon under investigation. It is also a key component in academia as the primary approach to data representation, especially in research projects, term papers and dissertations. 

Most Useful Statistical Analysis Methods in Research

Using statistical analysis methods in research is inevitable, especially in academic assignments, projects, and term papers. It’s always advisable to seek assistance from your professor or you can try research paper writing by CustomWritings before you start your academic project or write statistical analysis in research paper. Consulting an expert when developing a topic for your thesis or short mid-term assignment increases your chances of getting a better grade. Most importantly, it improves your understanding of research methods with insights on how to enhance the originality and quality of personalized essays. Professional writers can also help select the most suitable statistical analysis method for your thesis, influencing the choice of data and type of study.

Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive statistics is a statistical method summarizing quantitative figures to understand critical details about the sample and population. A description statistic is a figure that quantifies a specific aspect of the data. For instance, instead of analyzing the behavior of a thousand students, research can identify the most common actions among them. By doing this, the person utilizes statistical analysis in research, particularly descriptive statistics.

  • Measures of central tendency. Central tendency measures are the mean, mode, and media or the averages denoting specific data points. They assess the centrality of the probability distribution, hence the name. These measures describe the data in relation to the center.
  • Measures of frequency. These statistics document the number of times an event happens. They include frequency, count, ratios, rates, and proportions. Measures of frequency can also show how often a score occurs.
  • Measures of dispersion/variation. These descriptive statistics assess the intervals between the data points. The objective is to view the spread or disparity between the specific inputs. Measures of variation include the standard deviation, variance, and range. They indicate how the spread may affect other statistics, such as the mean.
  • Measures of position. Sometimes researchers can investigate relationships between scores. Measures of position, such as percentiles, quartiles, and ranks, demonstrate this association. They are often useful when comparing the data to normalized information.

Inferential Statistics

Inferential statistics is critical in statistical analysis in quantitative research. This approach uses statistical tests to draw conclusions about the population. Examples of inferential statistics include t-tests, F-tests, ANOVA, p-value, Mann-Whitney U test, and Wilcoxon W test. This

Common Statistical Analysis in Research Types

Although inferential and descriptive statistics can be classified as types of statistical analysis in research, they are mostly considered analytical methods. Types of research are distinguishable by the differences in the methodology employed in analyzing, assembling, classifying, manipulating, and interpreting data. The categories may also depend on the type of data used.

Predictive Analysis

Predictive research analyzes past and present data to assess trends and predict future events. An excellent example of predictive analysis is a market survey that seeks to understand customers’ spending habits to weigh the possibility of a repeat or future purchase. Such studies assess the likelihood of an action based on trends.

Prescriptive Analysis

On the other hand, a prescriptive analysis targets likely courses of action. It’s decision-making research designed to identify optimal solutions to a problem. Its primary objective is to test or assess alternative measures.

Causal Analysis

Causal research investigates the explanation behind the events. It explores the relationship between factors for causation. Thus, researchers use causal analyses to analyze root causes, possible problems, and unknown outcomes.

Mechanistic Analysis

This type of research investigates the mechanism of action. Instead of focusing only on the causes or possible outcomes, researchers may seek an understanding of the processes involved. In such cases, they use mechanistic analyses to document, observe, or learn the mechanisms involved.

Exploratory Data Analysis

Similarly, an exploratory study is extensive with a wider scope and minimal limitations. This type of research seeks insight into the topic of interest. An exploratory researcher does not try to generalize or predict relationships. Instead, they look for information about the subject before conducting an in-depth analysis.

The Importance of Statistical Analysis in Research

As a matter of fact, statistical analysis provides critical information for decision-making. Decision-makers require past trends and predictive assumptions to inform their actions. In most cases, the data is too complex or lacks meaningful inferences. Statistical tools for analyzing such details help save time and money, deriving only valuable information for assessment. An excellent statistical analysis in research example is a randomized control trial (RCT) for the Covid-19 vaccine. You can download a sample of such a document online to understand the significance such analyses have to the stakeholders. A vaccine RCT assesses the effectiveness, side effects, duration of protection, and other benefits. Hence, statistical analysis in research is a helpful tool for understanding data.