Accuracy and Precision are words often used by many in the same statement. But how many of you know the difference between them?
When we ask about differences, people say both are the same as they are considered factors to validate the data in terms of its context or measurement.
Accuracy and Precision are widely used in statistics, engineering, and science, where measurements conformity, correctness, and exactness are vital as slight differences can severely affect the outcomes or results.
- Accuracy refers to how close a measured value is to the actual value.
- Precision refers to how consistent the measured values are when the exact measurement is taken multiple times.
- Accuracy is essential for ensuring the validity of a measurement, while precision is vital for ensuring the reliability of a measure.
Accuracy vs Precision
Accuracy measures closeness of results to a known value, while precision measures how close results are to each other. Accuracy can be determined by a single measurement; the latter needs several measurements to be determined. First is degree of conformity, while accuracy is of reproducibility.
Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!
Accuracy has a single factor, whereas precision has multiple factors. Accuracy deals with systematic errors, and precision deals with random errors.
Accuracy refers to the degree of correctness and conformity of the subject. For example, the accuracy of the object, value, or experiment measures how closely they result in an absolute or true or accepted value.
While Precision is a measure of consistency and reliability, for example, the precision of an object, value, or experiment is a measurement of strict exactness, i.e. how something can be consistently and strictly remain exact.
|Parameter of Comparison||Accuracy||Precision|
|Definition||Accuracy is defined as the degree of correctness and conformity of something when the comparison is made against the absolute and true value.||Precision can be seen as the exactness to strict compliance or defined value under reproducibility.|
|Relationship Between Both||Some objects or products can be manufactured accurately by accident, but to be reliably and consistently accurate, they must always be manufactured with precision.||The results of an experiment can be precise but not accurate, whereas they can be precise and accurate simultaneously.|
|Factors||Single Factor||Multiple Factor|
|Basis of Factors||Conformity and Correctness||Exactness|
|Used In||Chemistry, Physics, statistics, engineering, and so on.||Chemistry, Physics, statistics, engineering, and so on.|
What is Accuracy?
Accuracy refers to the position where measurement is assessed to its closeness to its actual value or degree of correctness. In rigid terms, it refers to the measurement’s consistency and truth.
An accurate measurement will not have either systematic or random error. The accuracy of an object gets its actual essence when it is both accurate and precise.
Let’s understand Accuracy with an example; some bullets are fired at a decided target. And measurements of all fired bullets are captured from the centre of the target.
Accuracy will be defined as how close the bullets are fired to the centre. How close a bullet was fired to the centre will be seen as more accurate.
Repeat measurements can be taken to improve the Accuracy. An average of repeat measurements is exerted to calculate accuracy to identify conformity and closeness.
But it is assumed that the errors are randomly below and above the established actual value of the equivalent degree.
Thus, an experiment can provide accurate results with a low degree of precision when proper and appropriate statics are used for calculations.
What is Precision?
Precision means the condition where your results remain consistent when measurements are taken repeatedly.
In Precision, a form of observational error occurs that makes the result values slightly different from each other because, in each measurement, the random error happens. Precision, in the experiment, tells how your measurement values agree or are close to each other.
The close a measurement is to the other result measurement; your measurement is said to be more precise.
Let’s take one example to understand Precision with the help of the basketball game. One player doesn’t make any basket or didn’t get any success in hitting but always strikes or hits the same side of the rim; this means his precision in that direction is said to be more precise.
A precise measurement may also tell the quality of an instrument, whereas quality is not reflected by accurate measurement.
And precision can’t be improved by taking repeated measurements; it is improbable to quantify the precision values without repeating experiments.
Main Differences Between Accuracy and Precision
Accuracy and Precision are both extraordinarily vital characteristics in measurements or calculations. They help to achieve the desired objective or goal by identifying the underlying errors or issues.
But it’s also necessary to understand the difference between Accuracy and Precision to demark the associated factors.
- Accuracy is the degree of correctness and conformity. It depicts the level of agreement between the absolute and actual measurements. At the same time, Precision shows the level of differences or variations that lies in the resulting values of the measurements of the component. Precision depicts the degree of consistency achieved in reproducibility.
- Accuracy refers to the closeness of the measurement against the defined or actual measurement. At the same time, Precision represents the closeness of each measurement to the others.
- Accuracy is a standard of statistical bias, while Precision is the standard of analytical variations.
- In Accuracy, only a single factor is considered, while Precision considers multiple factors.
- Accuracy can be limited to one measurement, whereas multiple measurements are needed to evaluate Precision.
- Accuracy is critical when somebody wants to target specific things or points, whereas Precision is necessary for calculations.
I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️
Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.