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    descriptive and inferential statistics - pie chart

    Descriptive vs. Inferential Statistics: What’s the Difference?

    When it comes to statistic analysis, there are two classifications: descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.  In a nutshell, descriptive statistics intend to describe a big hunk of data with summary charts and tables, but do not attempt to draw conclusions about the population from which the sample was taken.  You are simply summarizing the data you have with pretty charts and graphs–kind of like telling someone the key points of a book (executive summary) as opposed to just handing them a thick book (raw data).

    Conversely, with inferential statistics, you are testing a hypothesis and drawing conclusions about a population, based on your sample.  In this case, you are going to run into fancy sounding concepts like ANOVA, T-Test, Chi-Squared, confidence interval, regression, etc., but we’ll save those for another day.

    descriptive and inferential statistics - pie chart

    Source: Flickr User "unity_creative"

    To understand the simple difference between descriptive and inferential statistics, all you need to remember is that descriptive statistics summarize your current dataset and inferential statistics aim to draw conclusions about an additional population outside of your dataset.

    Perhaps these concepts are most easily explained with some examples…

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    Survey Design Best Practices

    Survey Design Best Practices: How to Write a Good Questionnaire

    When it comes to survey design best practices, there are six key considerations, including relevance, objectivity, clarity, the look & feel, your question structure, and the survey flow.  This article provides some tips and tricks related to each of these components, helping you construct effective survey questionnaires.

    Survey Design Best Practices

    Survey Design Considerations

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    market research vs marketing research

    Market Research vs Marketing Research: What’s the Difference?

    When describing the “research” industry, I hear both terms “market research” and “marketing research” used…so what’s the difference?  Can they be used interchangeably?  Is one a subset of the other?  Which one is more common?

    Sticklers will say that there is a distinction between the two terms, but I don’t think it really matters.  I’ve heard them each defined with so much overlap that either one can be comfortably used in practice.  One person will describe market research as a subset of marketing research, while another will say just the opposite.

    market research vs marketing research

    My View of Market Research vs Marketing Research

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    primary vs secondary market research

    Primary vs. Secondary Market Research: What’s the Difference?

    Market research can be classified as either primary or secondary research.  The difference is quite simple, yet there is often confusion around this topic.

    primary and secondary market research differences

    Overview: Primary vs Secondary Market Research

    In a nutshell, primary research is original research conducted by you (or someone you hire) to collect data specifically for your current objective.  You might conduct a survey, run an interview or a focus group, observe behavior, or do an experiment.  You are going to be the person who obtains this raw data directly and it will be collected specifically for your current research need. Conversely, secondary research involves searching for existing data that was originally collected by someone else.  You might look in journals, libraries, or go to online sources like the US census.  You will apply what you find to your personal research problem, but the data you are finding was not originally collected by you, nor was it obtained for the purpose you are using it for.  I hope that makes sense.  If not, read on for some examples and a little more detail.

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