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Statistics

Statistics

Definition

Statistics, also often referred to as ‘quantification’, basically allow us to find and describe relationships in large datasets. There are two types of statistics, descriptive and inferential. The former are mainly used to describe the properties of a dataset, usually based on one or maybe two variables. The latter are used to test hypotheses to be good or false, taking into account many variables.


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This section (referring to all pages part of the WIKI path that you can choose using the WIKI-paths option in the menu) WIKI path is meant as a very short introduction to statistics for archaeologists. Because this is such a wide-ranging subject, we cannot deal with every aspect of statistics; here it will be limited to the most-commonly encountered use of statistical concepts in relation to GIS and spatial analyses.

Statistics, also often erroneously referred to as ‘quantification’, basically allow us to find and describe relationships in large datasets. In GIS these relationships are computed through the use of algorithms that make use of theorems of statistical science.

Outside of GIS, there are a lot of statistical programs, which are also used alongside GIS packages for higher or better productivity and results. Among these are the well-known Excel, basically a spreadsheet-based calculator, and SPSS, an advanced tool for statistical analyses. There are also statistical software packages that have been programmed for archaeology specifically (e.g. the pie-slice package).

Statistics may be categorized into either descriptive or inferential. The former are mainly used to describe the properties of a dataset, usually based on one or maybe two variables. The latter are used to test hypotheses to be good or false, taking into account many variables. This introduction concentrates on the descriptive statistics and their use in GIS and archaeology to create maps and perform calculations with datasets.

Research topics: Software & Technology