What Type of Statistics Is Used in Data Science?


Heather Bennett

Data science is a vast field that involves the analysis and interpretation of large sets of data to derive meaningful insights. One of the key components of data science is statistics, which plays a crucial role in various stages of the data analysis process. In this article, we will explore the different types of statistics that are commonly used in data science.

Descriptive Statistics

Descriptive statistics is the branch of statistics that focuses on summarizing and describing a given dataset. It provides us with tools and techniques to analyze and understand the main characteristics of the data. Descriptive statistics includes measures such as:

  • Measures of central tendency: These measures help us understand where the center or average value lies in a dataset. The most common measures include mean, median, and mode.
  • Measures of dispersion: These measures provide information about how spread out or concentrated the data is.

    Examples include variance, standard deviation, and range.

  • Percentiles: Percentiles divide a dataset into specific portions based on their rank. The median represents the 50th percentile.

Inferential Statistics

Inferential statistics goes beyond descriptive statistics and aims to make predictions or draw conclusions about a population based on a sample from that population. It involves using probability theory and statistical inference to make educated guesses or estimates about unknown parameters.

Hypothesis testing is one popular inferential statistical technique used in data science. It helps us determine if there is enough evidence to support or reject a specific claim or hypothesis about a population based on sample data.

Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is another commonly used statistical technique in data science. It helps us understand the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables. This analysis enables us to predict or estimate the value of the dependent variable based on the values of the independent variables.

Statistical Modeling

Statistical modeling involves building mathematical models to represent and analyze real-world phenomena. These models are often used to make predictions or understand the underlying relationships between variables in a dataset.


In conclusion, statistics is an essential tool in data science that provides us with ways to describe, analyze, and draw conclusions from data. Descriptive statistics helps us summarize and understand datasets, while inferential statistics allows us to make predictions and draw conclusions about populations based on samples.

Regression analysis and statistical modeling are additional techniques that help us uncover relationships within the data. By utilizing these various types of statistics, data scientists are able to extract valuable insights and make informed decisions.

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