4 Statistical Inference

# 4 Statistical Inference - Dr. Harvey A. Singer School of...

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© 2006 by Harvey A. Singer 1 OM 210:  Statistical Analysis for  Management Sampling and Statistical Inference Dr. Harvey A. Singer School of Management George Mason University

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© 2006 by Harvey A. Singer 2 Topics List Basic terms. Why work with data? Statistical approach. The statistical process.
© 2006 by Harvey A. Singer 3 Terminology A population is the set of all the elements of interest in a study. A parameter is a numerical characteristic of a population. A sample is a subset drawn in some way from the population. A statistic is a numerical characteristic of the sample.

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© 2006 by Harvey A. Singer 4 Why Use Sample Data? The population or process may be so large that to determine some quantity of interest for it may take too much money, time, and/or effort. Sample to avoid the expense of money, time, and effort. Market research for new products and services. Controlled experiments. The population or process may be so complex that it is too difficult to determine some quantity of interest from first principles. Sample as an end-run around first-principles understanding. E.g., turbulence.
© 2006 by Harvey A. Singer 5 The Approach Need a shortcut method. Don’t directly characterize the population. Don’t even try to query everybody or everything in the population. Don’t try to understand all the complexities. Sampling and statistics is that shortcut. Statistics is supposed to make life easier, not harder. The objective of statistics is to be able to say something smart about a population based on just a sample of data in hand. This is the idea behind “statistical inference.”

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6 Starting Points Select a sample. Obtain sample data. Describe the sample. Try to learn as much as possible from the sample data, in terms of patterns and characteristics. Referred to as “descriptive statistics.”
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## This note was uploaded on 01/26/2011 for the course OM 210 taught by Professor Singer during the Fall '08 term at George Mason.

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4 Statistical Inference - Dr. Harvey A. Singer School of...

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