ASQ - Statistics Division

A Primer for Enumerative vs. Analytic Studies: Using Caution in Statistical Inferences – Mini Paper Appearing in Summer 1996 Newsletter

Abstract: This paper makes a distinction between enumerative and analytic studies. It is stated that statistics in enumerative studies are only appropriate to make inferences about a framed group containing the sample where the tests were conducted. On the other hand, analytic studies are aimed at answering questions about the future. In many manufacturing applications analytic studies try to answer questions about materials not yet made. It is incorrect to answer analytic questions solely with enumerative tests. This paper dives deeper into situations where this issue might emerge and proposes the use of iterative studies along with expertise in the subject matter, knowledge of the state of control of influencing variables as required to answer analytic questions.

Keywords: Enumerative study - Analytic study - Common cause - Special cause

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