National EMSC Data Analysis Resource Center
Analysis that nearly anyone can do...
Many people get intimidated by statistics, but just remember that the majority of your data analysis will probably only require simple math that you learned in fifth grade. If you need to do more advanced statistics, such as hypothesis testing, you may want to seek the help of a statistician.
You can also refer to our advanced analysis section to learn more about statistical tests. But there’s a lot you can do on your own that you probably don’t even realize!
There are several types of descriptive statistical analysis that anyone can do:
Each of the above are what we call descriptive statistics. In other words, they help us describe our data.
You may be thinking, "Why do I care about trying to describe my data? I just want it to give me answers!" Well, descriptive statistics will often give you answers, and they will often help you understand your data better and make your answers more meaningful. Whenever you do a statistical analysis project, you should probably start by running some basic descriptive statistics.
Let’s say, for instance, you are doing a study on childhood weight. You collected weights from several different children. Here are the different weights you found:
13 36 98 77 42 50
110 22 49 81 26 38
OK, now tell me about your data. Can you describe it to me? Can you tell me anything interesting about the data? I’ll bet you can’t right now, but as you study the topics in this section, you should be able to soon.