How to Choose the Right Statistical Test?

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How to Choose the Right Statistical Test?

How to Choose the Right Statistical Test?

You may have heard the saying, “Torture the numbers long enough, and they will say whatever you want them to say.” It might be familiar to you as it has been quoted many times while discussing statistics. The news media usually mentions the statistics, yet these quotes are ill-explained or lack context and analysis. However, when using statistical analysis in research, you should not avoid misrepresentation of statistics.

To define clearly the importance of research and how your work helps future researchers, it is essential to provide high-quality statistical analysis in research. It is also become easier for individuals to understand the importance of complex academic research.

Many different types of statistical tests can be used in research. In this blog post, we’ll explain each type to give you an idea of how to choose the right statistical test.

What are Statistical Tests?

You can use statistical tests to quantitatively determine whether there is a significant difference between two sets of data. Statistical tests employ a number of statistical measures, including the mean, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation, to accomplish this. The statistical test will determine the statistical measures and then compare them to a predetermined list of criteria. If the data satisfies the requirements, the statistical analysis will determine that there is a significant distinction between the two sets of data.

Types of Statistical Tests

To analyze the information, you can use several tools when working with statistical data.

Parametric Statistical Tests

Compared to non-parametric tests, parametric tests in statistics are very specific about what kind of data they need. They draw strong conclusions from the data. They only work with the data that meets the common assumptions of statistical tests. Regression, comparison, and correlation tests are popular forms of parametric testing, which are as follows.

Regression Tests

With the help of regression tests, you can determine the cause-and-effect relationship. You can use this test to estimate the effect of more than one continuous variable on another.

  • Simple linear regression: This is the type of data that tells the relationship between dependent and independent variables. By using the straight line, you can quickly determine the relationship between two quantitative variables.
  • Multiple linear regression: This kind of regression uses a straight line to represent the connection between a quantitative dependent variable and two or more independent variables.
  • Logistic regression: It predicts and classifies the research problem. It helps identify data anomalies, which could be predictive fraud.

Comparison Tests

With the help of comparison tests, you can determine the differences between the groups. They can be applied to evaluate how a categorical variable affects other characteristics’ mean values. Following are the tests that can be helpful to test the effect.

  • T-test

A t-test is usually used to compare the means of two groups (for instance, finding out the average heights of men and women). When you don’t know the population parameters (mean and standard deviation), you can utilize the t-test.

  • Paired T-test

To find out the difference between two variables from the same population (pre and post-test scores), you can use a paired t-test. For instance, we can use a paired t-test to compare the trainee’s performance score before and after the training program is over.

  • Independent T-test

The independent t-test is used to determine if there is a difference between the means in two unrelated groups. This test is also known as the two-sample test. For instance, comparing cancer patients and pregnant women in a population.

  • One Sample T-test

In the one-sample t-test, you can compare the mean of the single group with the given mean.


With ANOVA (Analysis of Variance), you can analyze the difference between the means of more than two groups. However, with the help of one-way ANOVA, you can determine how one factor impacts another. Meanwhile, with two-way analyses, you can compare samples with different variables.


MANOVA stands for Multivariate Analysis of Variance, which offers an analysis of variance and regression for several dependent variables by one or more factor variables. Moreover, with MANOVA, you can analyze the statistical difference between one continuous dependent and independent grouping variable.

  • Z-test

This statistical test determines whether the means of two populations are different or not. In the Z-test, the provided variances are known, and the sample size is large.

Correlation Tests

Correlation tests examine the relationship between the variables without assuming a cause-and-effect scenario. You can use these tests to determine the correlation between the two variables you wish to employ in a multiple regression analysis.

  • Pearson Correlation Coefficient

It is the most common way of analyzing and measuring the linear correlation. The numbers between -1 and 1 are known as coefficient numbers. The strength and direction of the relationship between two variables can be determined with the help of it. When one variable varies, another variable also changes in the same way.

Non-Parametric Statistical Tests

Non-parametric statistical tests do not make as many assumptions about data compared to parametric tests.

  • Chi-square test

In the chi-square test, we compare two categorical variables. Moreover, calculating the chi-square statistic value and comparing it with the critical value from the chi-square distribution allows you to assess whether the observed frequency is significantly different from the expected frequency.

7 Essential Ways to Choose the Right Statistical Test

Following are the seven essential ways to choose the right statistical test for making quantitative decisions about more than one process.

  1. Research Question

To formulate the data structure and research design, you can use research questions. This will also provide the decision for a statistical test that needs to be employed.

  1. Formulation of Null Hypothesis

After the research question, you can formulate the null hypothesis. It suggests that no statistical significance exists in the expected observations.

  1. Level of Significance in Study Protocol

A level of significance must be specified before performing the study protocol. The significance level defines the statistical importance, as it defines the acceptance or rejection of the null hypothesis.

  1. The Decision Between One-tailed and Two-tailed

After the study protocol, you have to decide if your study should be one-tailed or two-tailed. One-tailed tests should be performed when you have clear evidence that the statistics are leading in one direction. However, for two-tailed directions, there is no particular direction of the expected difference.

  1. The Number of Variables to Be Analyzed

When you choose the test, you must consider how many variables you want to analyze. These statistical tests and procedures are divided according to the number of variables.

  1. Type of Data

To further define which statistical test to use, it is important to consider what type of data you want to choose. In continuous data, you must check if the data are typically distributed or uneven. It is essential to define whether your data is continuous, categorical, or binary.

  1. Paired and Unpaired Study Designs

Comparative studies by means of the two population means are included in paired designs when the two samples are dependent on one another. In an unpaired or independent research design, the results of the two samples are combined before being compared.

Best Statistical Analysis Software in 2024

·         IBM SPSS

It offers a user-friendly interface and a wide range of statistical procedures. SPSS lets users analyze and prepare data without knowing the code. With this tool, you can organize your data neatly, run different tests, and create charts and graphs to show your findings. One feature that makes it stand out from other softwares is that it provides drag-and-drop functionality. All you have to do is click on the relevant model, and it will automatically run the analysis on your provided data.

·         Tableau

Tableau is one of Salesforce’s visual analytics software. It is perfect if you wish to analyze data, as you can install it on your own servers, on the cloud, or directly integrate it with your Salesforce CRM. Its drag-and-drop feature, Einstein AI, delivers predictions and recommendations according to your data. Moreover, bespoke data preparation tools make Tableau stand out from many other platforms.


  1. What is a statistical test?

A statistical test is a strong method that is used to analyze data and determine the significant distinction or relationship between groupings or variables. It helps in making informed decisions about the population based on the sample data.

  1. How do we define test statistics?

A test statistic is a numerical value calculated from the sample data during the statistical hypothesis test. It is used to evaluate the data against a null hypothesis and draw conclusions about the population.

  1. What is statistical significance?

Statistical significance indicates the probability that observed data is likely due to a real effect or just random variation. It is a measure of our level of confidence in the outcomes of a statistical analysis.

  1. How do you choose a statistical test?

Choosing the right statistical test depends upon the nature of your data and research. It is essential to select the test that aligns with the data, the type of comparison you want to make, and any specific assumptions or conditions. Consulting statistical guidelines or experts can help create an appropriate choice.

  1. How do you tell if something is statistically significant?

To tell if something is statistically significant, check if the p-value associated with the statistical test is less than a predefined significance level (often represented by α and set at 0.05). If it is less, then the result is statistically significant. However, if the p-value is higher than the significance level, there is not enough data to reject the null hypothesis. This shows that the observed effect is unlikely to be due to chance alone.

  1. What are statistical tests’ main assumptions?

Common assumptions include normal distribution of data, independence of variables, and the similarity of variance in the compared groups. The test results will not be reliable if you violate these assumptions. It’s important to check and address these assumptions before interpreting the findings.

  1. How do quantitative and categorical variables differ from each other?

Quantitative Variables: Quantitative variables can be used where the amounts are represented in data, e.g., height, weight, or age.

Categorical Variables: The categorical variable can be used to represent groups in the data, including rankings, classification, and binary outcomes.

Final Thoughts

In summary, statistical tests are an essential part of research, and you should know how to choose the right test. We have discussed some steps that you can follow to choose the right statistical test. Each option has its own uniqueness, from which you can learn which one is the proper test for your research question. However, it is essential to understand all the options before making the right decision. Statistical analysis is a powerful tool, and using the correct test ensures your results are both meaningful and reliable. If you want to learn more about statistical testing, you can read some eBooks written by experts on the subject.

However, if you still have no clue which statistical test to use for your research, then don’t hesitate to contact Online Paper Help. Our experts will help you out in every way possible.