There are two main uses of inferential statistics. The first one is to carry out accurate inferences about a population based on a sample taken from that population. The second one is to calculate the probability of whether some perceived difference in several groups or conditions might have occurred by chance.

On the other hand, descriptive statistics provides with a summary of a sample. The summary is comprised of measures of central tendency and measure of variability, among others. Unlike inferential statistics, descriptive statistics does not rely on probability theory.

Exploratory data analysis “explores” the data looking for patterns and outliers. Among its goals, it makes hypothesis about the causes of patterns and provides suggestions for further data collection.

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