Statistics: ANOVA- An Intuition with Example

Without going into mathematical intricacies

Rahul S
7 min readMay 13, 2023

Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) is used to analyze the differences between two or more groups in a dataset. It allows us to determine if there are significant variations among the means of different groups, beyond what can be attributed to random chance.

ANOVA helps researchers understand the effect of categorical independent variables on a continuous dependent variable.


In ANOVA, we compare the variation between groups (often referred to as “group variance” or “treatment variance”) with the variation within groups (referred to as “error variance” or “residual variance”).

If the variation between groups is significantly larger than the variation within groups, it suggests that the means of the groups are different.

To illustrate this principle, let’s consider an analogy using a classroom scenario. Imagine you are a teacher evaluating the performance of three different study groups (Group A, Group B, and Group C) in a math test. You want to determine if there are significant differences in the mean scores of the groups.