# Who Should Use ANOVA?

When it comes to the assessment of multiple scenarios across an organizational structure, a proper data management and analytics system can do wonders for a given hierarchy. In this digital transformation era, statistical formulas to better address an influx of information are crucial. One of these essential formulas is the analysis of variance, also known as ANOVA. It helps compare variances across the averages of different groups. Here’s what you need to know about ANOVA and who should use it.

What is ANOVA?

You may be asking yourself, what is ANOVA used for? ANOVA can actually be used in a range of scenarios to determine if there’s any difference between the means of different groups. In the pharmaceutical industry, an ANOVA test can be used to determine the effectiveness of medications by exploring the relationship between the medicine and what you are trying to address for this treatment group. The outcome of ANOVA is known as the “F statistic,” a ratio that shows the difference between group variances, ultimately producing a figure which allows a conclusion that is supported or rejected by research.

Within an ANOVA table, there is an independent and a dependent variable. The dependent variable is measured by the independent variables, which are items that are uniquely searched for better statistical analysis of information. Within ANOVA, there is the possibility that the F statistic will render a null hypothesis, meaning there’s no difference between the groups or their means. An alternative hypothesis, on the other hand, displays a difference. There’s also a fixed-factor model in an ANOVA test, looking at statistical significance across specific independent variables, while a random-factor model tests all of those variables.

What’s the difference between one-way and two-way ANOVA?

There are two types of ANOVA: one-way and two-way ANOVA. One-way analysis of variance, also known as single-factor ANOVA or simple ANOVA, is suitable for experiments with only one independent variable. This factor can be run up against a dependent variable, such as sales based on the time of year. A one-way ANOVA assumes that the value of the dependent variable for one observation is independent of the others. That dependent variable is normally distributed, while the variance of this ANOVA test is comparable across different testing groups.

Two-way ANOVA, also known as full factorial ANOVA, is used when there are two or more independent variables. This can be used in a case where every possible permutation of factors and their levels needs to be assessed. This could be the month of the year when sales are being driven for certain items, such as higher electronics sales during the holiday season compared to what’s on store shelves other times of the year. In a two-way ANOVA test, variables should be independent of each other across the different groups.

Why does ANOVA work and who should use it?

Through an ANOVA test, users can do more than just see the averages of datasets. ANOVA helps to find out if the difference in these values is statistically significant. ANOVA also indirectly reveals if an independent variable is influencing the dependent variable. For example, in assessing potential treatments within the health care realm, an ANOVA test can infer the success of a particular therapy as an independent variable to look for a significant F-statistic based on a number of factors.