8.4 Summary

In any data analysis, you want to ask yourself “Am I asking an inferential question or a prediction question?” This should be cleared up before any data are analyzed, as the answer to the question can guide the entire modeling strategy. In the example here, if we had decided on a prediction approach, we might have erroneously thought that PM10 was not relevant to mortality. However, the inferential approach suggested a statistically significant association with mortality. Framing the question right, and applying the appropriate modeling strategy, can play a large role in the kinds of conclusions you draw from the data.