Which category of statistics do Control Charts fall under? Descriptive, Inferential, or something else?

As I'm thinking out loud...Control Charts use elements of Descriptive (central tendency, dispersion) and Inferential (estimation). So which category does it best belong in?

  • $\begingroup$ Why would it matter? $\endgroup$ – whuber Oct 4 '15 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ I would like to know for a flow chart that describes my analysis process. $\endgroup$ – Harper Oct 5 '15 at 23:40

"The control chart method for variables is a means of visualizing the variations that occur in the central tendency and dispersion of a set of observations."

D.H. Besterfield, Quality Control, 2001

Based upon this description, you could put control charts under Descriptive Statistics.

On the other hand, I believe that there are two types of people, those who put people into two categories and those who don't. I would be inclined to avoid the dichotomy and simply put control charts in the "Graphical Analysis" category.


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