Descriptive And Inferential Research Methods

Maria James

What Is The Difference Between Descriptive And Inferential Research Methods?


One of the fields of mathematics is statistics. Statistics deals with so many aspects of data required for the research work. It includes data collection, analysis, generation of conclusion and its report. As it is a field of mathematics, so the data is always in numeric form. In simple words, you can take it as an approach used in a quantitative research study. Applied statistics is one of the types of statistics that covers descriptive and inferential research methods. In research studies, you can see frequent use of applied statistics. Therefore, this article aims to discuss descriptive and inferential research methods in detail.

  1. What are Descriptive Research Methods?

A descriptive research method is an approach to getting insights into available data. The data collected for any research study is always in raw form. The raw form of data is almost useless. You have to organise it to have reliable research results. The descriptive research method is one of the best ways to apply statistics to the available data. In this way, you can better generate tables from raw data. The ineffective data is separated from the valuable one, and tables are made of valuable data.

In the descriptive research method, you can go for two ways. One of the ways is to measure central tendency, while the second one is to measure validity. Both are different ways that are applied in different statistical methods. In a measure of central tendency, you can calculate the mean and mode of numeric data. Furthermore, you can calculate the median of datasets. Mean is the average of the whole data. You can find the mean of different datasets, or you can calculate it for all data. The simple way to calculate the mean is to divide the sum of observations by the total number of observations in the dataset.

Another calculation is in the form of the mode of data. The value obtained from a mode of data is the most frequent value in the dataset. The last thing is the median of a dataset. For different ranges of data, you can find the median. The Median is the middle value in any dataset. It helps you find the central point in quantitative data. In contrast, a measure of variability covers range, mode and standard deviation. However, if you are facing any difficulties in the measurement, you can hire masters dissertation writing services.

  1. What are Inferential Research Methods?

Other than descriptive statistics, you can use inferential research methods. In inferential research methods, you have to collect different sets of data. For each set of data, you have to make a prediction. In your research work, you have to target a particular aspect of your study. Based on that aspect, you have to collect data from the population. When you need to use inferential research methods, it is preferred to collect datasets in small chunks. The small sample size on different aspects helps you well. If you go for a large sample size and target a large volume of population, then prediction does not remain effective. With the help of inferential statistics, you can better compare two sets of data. Based on the comparison of a small sample, you have to predict something for the general population. Similar to descriptive research methods, inferential statistics also have different types. It includes hypothesis testing and regression analysis of datasets. Due to its difficulty level, many students prefer to buy dissertation online.

  1. What Are the 5 Main Differences Between Descriptive And Inferential Research Methods?

Following are some differences between descriptive and inferential statistics:

  • Information
  • Data handling
  • Description of event
  • Sample size
  • Data analysis

Let’s discuss each difference in detail.

  • Information

Descriptive statistics highlight the valuable information present in the raw data. On the other hand, inferential statistics provide information related to the population. The information provided for a population is drawn from the same population.

  • Data Handling

Data handling is different in both methods. In descriptive research methods, you have to take things systematically. Based on this method’s purpose, the data handling method differs from other research methods. The descriptive research method organises the raw data. Furthermore, it analyses the data in a particular way based on the study’s objective. It may require all of the calculations that are part of this method. At the end of calculations, you can better present a reliable conclusion for a research study.

In contrast, data handling is way more different from inferential research methods. These statistical methods require data comparison effectively. Based on the data comparison, you have to make a hypothesis for a research study. You can also say that inferential statistics is a good method for quantitative research. After making a hypothesis, you have to forecast a research study.

  • Description of Event

The descriptive research method explains and discusses different aspects of a particular happening. You can better evaluate the research problem in detail with this research method.

On the other hand, inferential research methods focus on the probability of an event’s occurrence. So, you can see the difference in the situation. One method is discussing the situation that has already happened, while the other one is working on the upcoming situation.

  • Sample Size

In the descriptive research method, the sample size is mostly small. In contrast, inferential statistics focuses on the population rather than a small sample size. So, you can differentiate both research methods on the basis of sample size.

  • Data Analysis

The main aim of every research study is to achieve the designed objective. To achieve the research objective, you have to use some techniques or a particular way. This way of data analysis is also different from inferential and descriptive research methods. Descriptive statistics focuses on the tables of organised data. Furthermore, the objective of the research is achieved through charts and graphs. On the other hand, inferential statistics do not go for such techniques but achieve results through the probability of data.

Final Thoughts

By understanding the differences between descriptive and inferential research methods, you can go for its better use. Although both methods are types of statistics, they are still different in so many aspects. The above-mentioned points can help you differentiate both statistical methods to get the best result.

You might also like to read about 5 Reasons to Pursue an MBA in the UK at Queen’s University Belfast.

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