Data analysis is necessary for discovering credible findings for nursing

Data analysis is key for discovering credible findings from implementing nursing studies. Discussion and conclusions can be made about the meaning of the findings from the data analysis.

  • Share what you learned about descriptive analysis (statistics), inferential analysis (statistics), and qualitative analysis of data; include something that you learned that was interesting to you and your thoughts on why data analysis is necessary for discovering credible findings for nursing.
  • Compare clinical significance and statistical significance; include which one is more meaningful to you when considering application of findings to nursing practice.

Descriptive analysis is when data is used to describe something “meaningful.” The purpose of summarizing descriptive data is to give the reader an understanding of the characteristics of the sample and variables in the study, provides information on how the variables in a study are similar, and more (Houser, 2018). Inferential analysis uses random sample from the data to describe the population in the study. According to our textbook, it “allow the researcher to determine the probability that random error is responsible for the outcome, and they give the reader of the study write-up information about the size of the effect (Houser,2018).” Qualitative analysis of data is non-numerical data is observed and recorded (Houser, 2018). For example, the participants in the study are wearing red shirts and brown shorts. Therefore, data analysis is necessary for discovering credible findings for nursing because it enables nurses to gather more data about their patient and provide a better patient outcome.

Statistical significance refers to one’s decision to “reject the null hypothesis based on a predetermined criterion (e.g., a 2-tailed alpha of 0.05 or 95% confidence interval) (El-Masri, 2016).” . It allows researchers to make statistical inference from the study findings about the true parameter or population value. However, clinical significance relates to the importance or benefits of research findings. It often measures the extent of the relationship between the independent variable and the outcome variable (El-Masri, 2016). Clinical significance measures the differences in treatment effects and therefore I believe is more important. Often patients are concerned about side effects and thus, clinical significance is something I find important.


El-Masri, M. M. (2016, June 1). Statistical versus Clinical Significance in Nursing Research. Retrieved from SAGE Journals:

Houser, J. (2018). Nursing research: Reading, using, and creating evidence (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.