Sampling

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DEFINITION of 'Sampling'

A process used in statistical analysis in which a predetermined number of observations will be taken from a larger population. The methodology used to sample from a larger population will depend on the type of analysis being performed, but will include simple random sampling, systematic sampling and observational sampling.

The sample should be a representation of the general population.

BREAKING DOWN 'Sampling'

When taking a sample from a larger population, it is important to consider how the sample will be drawn. To get a representative sample, the sample must be drawn randomly and encompass the entire population. For example, a lottery system could be used to determine the average age of students in a University by sampling 10% of the student body, taking an equal number of students from each faculty.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some common financial sampling methods?

    There are two areas in finance where sampling is very important: hypothesis testing and auditing. The type of sampling methods ... Read Full Answer >>
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    Financial sampling allows auditors to approximate the rate of error within financial statements. For accounting purposes, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the criteria for a simple random sample?

    Simple random sampling is the most basic form of sampling and can be a component of more precise, more complex sampling methods. ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can a representative sample lead to sampling bias?

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