Exploratory Data Analysis

What Does Exploratory Data Analysis Mean?

Exploratory data analysis (EDA) is a term for certain kinds of initial analysis and findings done with data sets, usually early on in an analytical process. Some experts describe it as “taking a peek” at the data to understand more about what it represents and how to apply it. Exploratory data analysis is often a precursor to other kinds of work with statistics and data.

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Techopedia Explains Exploratory Data Analysis

Professionals will often use various visual tools to do exploratory data analysis, for example, to test an intuitive hypothesis, and figure out in what ways data sets are similar or different. One excellent example is the use of a scatter plot graph – this simple bit of exploratory data analysis can show analysts whether there is a trend or major difference between two or more data sets, by making numbers, which are relatively hard for the human brain to analyze as a whole, into easy visuals. Block graphs and line graphs are other examples of this type of quick exploratory analysis. Those who are working with the data can expedite the process of figuring out what the data means, what it can be used for, and what conclusions can be drawn from it.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.