exploratory data analysis

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Exploratory Data Analysis


[J.W.Tukey, "Exploratory Data Analysis", 1977, Addisson Wesley].
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exploratory data analysis

a form of statistical analysis which begins by exploring data rather than testing clearly formulated prior hypotheses. Exploratory data analysis does as it says: it explores the pattern of the data set under analysis, considering its range, level, outliers, batching it before graphing and transforming it. The MINITAB computer package, for example, contains these techniques in its sub-pro grammes. In either qualitative or quantitative forms, the purpose of exploratory data analysis is to follow parallel procedures in the interrogation of statistics, i.e. generating hypotheses through exploring the data before turning to confirmatory statistics to test those hypotheses.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
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