What Is an ANOVA Test?

Businesses of all sizes and within all sectors are learning the importance of master data management, and the trends and variables that may not have been seen in this information before. One way in which this is accomplished is through a statistical formula known as analysis of variance, otherwise known as ANOVA. Through ANOVA, organizations are able to spot a significant difference in their analytics that they may never have spotted before to better maintain business practices. Let’s take a closer look at what an ANOVA test may entail.

What is ANOVA?

The ANOVA test has made its carving in a litany of industries, but you’re probably asking yourself, what is ANOVA test? Analysis of variance, or ANOVA, is a formula used to compare variances across the averages of different groups. A range of scenarios use it to determine if there’s any difference between the averages, or means, of different groups. The outcome of ANOVA is the ‘F statistic.’ This ratio shows the difference between the within-group variance and the between-group variance, which ultimately produces a figure which allows a conclusion that the null hypothesis is supported or rejected.

There are two forms of ANOVA: one-way and full-factor ANOVA. One-way ANOVA is also known as single-factor or simple ANOVA, and it is designed for experiments with only one factor with two or more levels. One-way ANOVA assumes that a variance is comparable in different experimental groups, with the value of a variable for one observation being independent of other observations. Full-factor ANOVA, or two-way ANOVA, is used when there are multiple factors at multiple levels. Each sample is independent, with no crossover, in full-factorial ANOVA with samples that represent a normal population.

ANOVA Terminology

There are a few terms that a statistician needs to know for proper statistical technique and inference in an ANOVA test. Through analysis of variance, there are independent and dependent variables. Independent variables are the items being measured that may have a significant effect on a dependent variable. Dependent variables are the items being measured that are theorized to be affected by the independent variables. Independent variables are sometimes referred to as factors, with dependent variables known as levels denoting different values.

ANOVA analysis can be conducted through fixed-factor and random-factor models. A fixed-factor ANOVA test will use only a discrete set of levels for factors, while a random-factor model will draw a random value from all possible values of an independent variable. What is being tested through this equation is a null hypothesis, or H0, when there is no difference between the groups or averages. Depending on the result of the ANOVA test, the null hypothesis will either be accepted or rejected. An alternative hypothesis, or H1, is the difference between groups and means that is theorized in any type of ANOVA.

What ANOVA Can Accomplish

ANOVA involves complex steps that are left to qualified technicians and statisticians to address. However, it’s a beneficial technique for businesses using artificial intelligence. Organizations that use ANOVA can make decisions about which alternative to choose among many possible options. ANOVA can help to compare yields on different varieties of products, or to get a better assessment of the marketplace for particular items according to an available data set.

ANOVA does more than only comparing means and averages, as it takes a deeper dive to find an explanation among a sample size. Even though the averages of various groups appear to be different, this could be due to a sampling error rather than issues among the independent variables on the dependent variables. ANOVA helps to find out if the difference in the mean values is statistically significant. The use of ANOVA can end up saving a lot of time and money for any business.

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