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exploratory analysis

— Analyses not intended to provide definitive evidence, but rather to suggest directions for future research.

Full explanation:

Exploratory analyses may or may not be specified in advance (in the protocol for a study or systematic review).

Generally, an analysis is considered exploratory when the study design is not appropriate, or the available data are insufficient for answering the question addressed by the analysis.

Unplanned exploratory analyses are often done without predefined research questions (data fishing) and there is a high likelihood of misleading findings.

See also:

multiple statistical comparisons  ·  data fishing

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← explanatory trial extrapolated evidence →