A refresher on statistical significance

No matter how much you ace these ideas of statistics there is always room to simplify things further.

Amy Gallo of HBR tries to simplify the key idea of statistical significance:

When you run an experiment or analyze data, you want to know if your findings are “significant.” But business relevance (i.e., practical significance) isn’t always the same thing as confidence that a result isn’t due purely to chance (i.e., statistical significance). This is an important distinction; unfortunately, statistical significance is often misunderstood and misused in organizations today. And yet because more and more companies are relying on data to make critical business decisions, it’s an essential concept for managers to understand.

To better understand what statistical significance really means, I talked with Tom Redman, author of Data Driven: Profiting from Your Most Important Business Asset. He also advises organizations on their data and data quality programs.

“Statistical significance helps quantify whether a result is likely due to chance or to some factor of interest,” says Redman. When a finding is significant, it simply means you can feel confident that’s it real, not that you just got lucky (or unlucky) in choosing the sample.

Useful read early in the morning…

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