Chapter 8: Environmental statistics: balancing simplicity and explanatory power
One of the most important goals of a coastal assessment program is to increase the knowledge of individuals and agencies who make management decisions. Information must be presented in an easy-to-understand format and supported by quantitative analyses. Quantitative analyses often involve applying statistical techniques that are used to visualize, describe, and model data. Statistics allow scientists and managers to distill data into useful information and increase the amount of confidence they have in their conclusions (Figure 8.1). This chapter describes how to use statistics to strike a balance between explanatory power and complexity (Figure 8.2). This brief introduction should provide some guidance in using statistics to analyze data.