Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Data Analysis, Exploratory
David R. Brillinger
John W. Tukey, the definer of the phrase exploratory data analysis (EDA), made remarkable contributions to the physical and social sciences. In the matter of data analysis, his groundbreaking contributions included the fast Fourier transform algorithm and EDA. He reenergized descriptive statistics through EDA and changed the language and paradigm of statistics in doing so. Interestingly, it is hard, if not impossible, to find a precise definition of EDA in Tukey's writings. This is no great surprise, because he liked to work with vague concepts, things that could be made precise in several ways. It seems that he introduced EDA by describing its characteristics and creating novel tools. His descriptions include the following: 1. “Three of the main strategies of data analysis are: 1. graphical presentation. 2. provision of flexibility in viewpoint and in facilities, 3. intensive search for parsimony and simplicity.” (Jones, 1986, Vol. IV, p. 558) 2. 3. ...