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Statistical Description of Data
Cf. NRiC, Chapter 14.
Statistics provides tools for understanding data.
- In the wrong hands these tools can be dangerous!
Here's a typical data analysis cycle:
- Apply some formula to data to compute a "statistic".
- Find where value falls in a probability distribution computed on the basis of some "null hypothesis".
- If it falls in an unlikely spot (on distribution tail), conclude null hypothesis is false for your data set.