After collecting your data, it is time to analyze the results of your experiment. Researchers utilize statistics to determine if the results of the study support the original hypothesis and to determine if the results are statistically significant. Statistical significance means that the results of the study are unlikely to have occurred simply by chance.

The types of statistical methods you use to analyze your data depend largely on the type of data that you collected. If you are using a random sample of a larger population, you will need to utilize inferential statistics. These statistical methods make inferences about how the results relate to the population at large. Because you are making inferences based upon a sample, it has to be assumed that there will be a certain margin of error.