Chapter 6 Inference: A Primer

Inference is one of many possible goals in data analysis and so it’s worth discussing what exactly is the act of making inference. Recall previously we described one of the six types of questions you can ask in a data analysis is an inferential question. So what is inference?

In general, the goal of inference is to be able to make a statement about something that is not observed, and ideally to be able to characterize any uncertainty you have about that statement. Inference is difficult because of the difference between what you are able to observe and what you ultimately want to know.