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Thread: Analysing Limited Data

  1. #1
    Feb 2017

    Analysing Limited Data

    For my thesis I involuntary have a small dataset due to a limited population. I was thinking about analysing this data with the statistical model ANOVA, using non-parametric tests or Bayesian statistics. What do you think works best? Or are there any other methods/models/tests I can use?
    Any tip ore suggestion will be highly appreciated!
    Thank you in advance.
    Inge van der Borg
    Utrecht University
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor
    Sep 2012

    Re: Analysing Limited Data

    Hey IngevanderBorg.

    It depends on what you are trying to do.

    Bayesian statistics is good for small data because you can more accurately get the distribution for that data set and use some "prior" information to better correct these assumptions.

    You have to tell us what you are trying to estimate though and this will help determine what sort of distribution and test you will use for making a decision based on your data.

    The prior information will only help if it actually either a) comes from experience b) makes sense in the context of your data or c) has some sort of assumption that justifies its use. You can have a combination of these though.

    ANOVA's are just ways of looking at means and the non-parametric tests become useful when the data diverges from non-normality assumptions.

    Also - if you are doing stuff with biostatistics, then you will need to supply way more information since the techniques used become more advanced to take into account the limited data along with other assumptions so that the inference made is as good as possible given whatever sample you get.

    If you can tell us what you are trying to ultimately answer, then that would be a very good start.
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