Descriptive statistics is a summary statistic that quantitatively describes or summarizes features from a collection of information, and is distinguished from inferential statistics by its aim to summarize a sample, rather than use the data to learn about the population that the sample represents.
Measures of central tendency and measures of variability are commonly used to describe data sets.
Use in statistical analysis
Descriptive statistics are simple summaries of data that may be either quantitative or visual. They may be sufficient in and of themselves for a particular investigation.
A shooting percentage in basketball is a descriptive statistic that summarizes a player's performance. A grade point average describes a student's general performance.
Descriptive and summary statistics have an extensive history, and the box plot is an example of such a technique.
Univariate analysis involves describing the distribution of a single variable, including its central tendency and dispersion, and depicting the characteristics of the distribution in graphical or tabular format.
Bivariate and multivariate analysis
Bivariate analysis is not only simple descriptive analysis, but also describes the relationship between two different variables. It uses quantitative measures of dependence such as correlation and covariance, and slope to reflect the relationship between variables.