In research whether qualitative or quantitative the most important section is data analysis. This section has been seen by a number of students to be challenging. Data analysis thus needs to be done in a manner that will not mislead the various interested stakeholders.
The essay critically looks into elements of descriptive statistics as well as their significance and the concept of central tendency and the reason why it is important in large scale sampling (Neuman, 2005). Lastly issues relating to inferential statistics are also covered in the essay.
Descriptive statistic is a category of statistics analyses that summarizes, describes and explains a set of information. This kind of statistics is indeed the first to be carried out during data analysis.
Among the elements of descriptive statistics are frequency distribution which are presented in tables, graphic representation which entails bar graphs, line graphs, scatter plots, histograms.
Additionally, central tendency made up of mode, median and mean, measures of variability encompassing variance, range standard deviation and analysis of relationships between variables through, regression, correlation, unstandardized difference between means and effect size indicator (Christensen et al., 2010).
It is worth noting that descriptive statistics are not only of significant in research but always provides the targeted audience with a glimpse of what the entire work is about. Additionally, this category of statistic are the best in trying to summarize the general characteristics of a given sample study.
Going through it since they are in form of tables, and graphical representation one can easily deduce the major characteristics or attributes of the study without reading between the lines (Neuman, 2005). For instance frequency distribution tables provide the number of occurrence and percentages of an event or variable. Through scatter plots, regression and correlation relationships between variables can be succinctly shown.
According to Christensen et al., 2010 central tendency helps in describing and understanding of data. A measure of central tendency “is a single numerical value that is considered most typical of the values of a quantitative variable”.
The measure include mode which is the number that appears most frequently, mean the average number and median which is typically the center point in a set of numbers arranged either in ascending or descending order. It is no doubt that measure of central tendency helps in summarizing the set of data obtained from a larger population.
Generally speaking, all the three aspects of central tendency help the audience establish whether the population from which the data was obtained from is normally distributed or not. Normal distribution is when the values obtained from the three aspects are the same. Additionally, measure of central tendency help give more insights with regards to information obtained from a larger population sample.
Being a researcher that has been bestowed with the responsibility of establishing the relationship between perceptions of professional standards and the school district’s professional standards, there are a number of variables to be categorized as descriptive statistics. The number as well as the gender of the teachers that are taking part in the research will provide one set of descriptive statistics.
This can be depicted by using charts or a frequency distribution tables (Christensen et al., 2010). Additionally, the mean, mode and median of these teachers which is a measure of central tendency will be considered as being descriptive statistics. The standard deviation as well as the range of teacher’s views on the relationship between the two variables also constitutes descriptive statistics.
It is worth noting that these teachers do teach different subjects, for this reason the subject each teach will contribute to descriptive statistics. More importantly, the frequency of the responses to the statements they are asked to rank can be categorized as descriptive statistics.
Inferential statistics are set of statistical analysis that centers on making inferences about a population based on a selected sample data. To ensure that the research question is answered; analysis that will test the association between the two variables teaches’ perception of professional standards and the school district’s professional standards, then there is need to use scatter plot, correlation or regression analysis.
Additionally, to test whether there is a relationship or significance differenced between teachers gender and their perception, t-test analysis will be carried out. The later will be used to test the strength of the regression and correlation relationships (Christensen et al., 2010).
Christensen, L. et al., (2010). Research methods, design and analysis. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Neuman, W. (2005). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.