Multivariate Analysis: A Complete And Easy Guide For 2021


Data is crucial today in short Data can also be described as ‘new oil’. Data is used in large organizations to learn the consumer behaviour of what makes them invest in a particular product. The huge amount of data is grouped to analyze and learn and understand the consumer. The multivariate analysis definition is analyzing the data is known as Multivariate analysis. Here is an introduction to multivariate statistical analysis. 

  1. What is Multivariate Analysis?
  2. History of Multivariate Analysis
  3. The objective of Multivariate Analysis
  4. Types of Multivariate Analysis of Variance and Covariance
  5. Advantages and Disadvantages of Multivariate Analysis

1) What is Multivariate Analysis?

Multivariate means more than one variable behind the resultant outcome. Anything that happens in the world or business is not due to one reason but multiple reasons behind the outcome known as multivariate. With the introduction to multivariate analysis let’s take an example. Weather is dependent on multiple factors like pollution, precipitation, humidity to name a few. Now knowing the multivariate analysis meaning, let’s take a look at the multivariate analysis applications, the history behind the multivariate analysis, and applied multivariate analysis in various fields.

2) History of Multivariate Analysis

The Multivariate analysis (MVA) was started in 1928 by Wishart presenting the paper. The paper was about the distribution of the covariance matrix of a normal population with multiple variables. Later, in the 1930s Hotelling, R. A Fischer, and others published theoretical work on MVA. During those times, multivariate analysis was widely found in education, psychology, and biology fields.

With the advent of computers, multivariate analysis expanded its area to meteorological, geological, science, and medical sectors in the mid-1950s. New theories were proposed and tested at regular intervals by practice at the same time in different fields. Computers opened new venues to apply the MVA methods to verify the complex statistical dataset for multivariate analysis.

3) The objective of Multivariate Analysis

MVA or Multivariate Analysis considers multiple factors. The objectives of MVA are listed below.

  • Reduction in data or simplification of the structure

MVA helps to simplify the data as much as possible without losing out on the critical information. This aids in drawing interpretation later.

  • Grouping and Sorting the data

MVA has multiple variables. The variables are grouped based on their unique features. 

  • Data is verified based on the variables

Understanding the variables and collected data is verified. Concluding, the state of the variables is critical. The variables can be independent or dependent on the other variables.

  • Establishing a connection between the variables

The relationship between the variables is vital to understand the behavior of the variables based on observations and other variables present.

  • Testing and construction of hypothesis

Creating a statistical hypothesis based on the parameters of the multivariate data is tested. This testing is done to understand if the assumptions are correct or not.

4) Types of Multivariate Analysis of Variance and Covariance

MANOVA is a Multivariate analysis of variance a continuance of the ANOVA (common analysis of variance). The MANOVA includes more than one factor with two or more than two interdependent variables. The multivariate analysis is a continuance of the linear model approach as found in ANOVA. The various multivariate analysis techniques in research methodology are listed below.

  • Canonical Correlation Analysis

The canonical correlation analysis is a study of the straight line relations between two types of variables. The CCA has two main purposes. They are

  • Reduction of Data
  • Interpretation of Data

Computation of all probability correlations is performed between the two types of variables. The interpretation can be challenging when the two types of correlations are large. CCA helps to outline the relationship between the two variables. 

  • Structural Equation Modelling

SEM is a multivariate statistical analysis technique applied to analyze the structural relationships. This is a flexible and broad network of data analysis.  SEM assesses the variables that are dependent and independent. Further, metrics of latent variables and verification of the model measurement is taken. SEM is a combination of analysis of the metrics and structural model. This considers the errors in measurement and variables observed for multivariate data analysis. The multivariate analysis tools are used to evaluate the variables. This is a vital part of the SEM model. 

  • Interdependence technique

In this technique, the relationships of the variables are analyzed to understand. This helps in establishing the pattern of the data and assumptions behind the variables.

  • Factor Analysis

In factor analysis data in many variables are reduced to few variables. It is also known as dimension reduction. This technique is used to reduce the data before going ahead with analysis. On completion of factor analysis, the patterns are clear and much easier to analyze.

  • Cluster Analysis

Cluster analysis is a combination of techniques that are used to segregate the cases or objects into groups known as clusters. While conducting the analysis, the data is separated based on similarity and then labelled to the group. This is a data mining function and allows them to gain insight into the data distribution based on the unique feature of each group.

  • Multidimensional Scaling

MDS or multidimensional scaling is a technique wherein a map is developed with positions of the variables along with the distances between them in a table. The map can have one or more dimensions. The program can provide a metric or non-metric solution. The tabular details of the distances are called the proximity matrix. This tabular column is updated from the results of the experiments or by a correlation matrix.

  • Correspondence analysis

A correspondence analysis method has a table that has a two-way array of non-negative quantities. This array gives the relation between the row entry and the column entry of the table. A common multivariate analysis example is a table of contingency in which the column and row entries refer to the two variables and the quantities in the table cells refer to frequencies.

5) Advantages and Disadvantages of Multivariate Analysis

Multivariate Analysis aids in understanding the behaviour of the variables. It also gives a peek to know the dependence of the variables and how they can influence the outcomes.


  • MVA considers multiple variables. These variables can be independent or dependent on each other. The analysis considers the factors and draws an accurate conclusion.
  • The analysis is tested and conclusions are drawn. The drawn conclusions are close to real-life situations. 


  • MVA is laborious and as it includes complex computations. 
  • The analysis requires a huge amount of observations for multiple variables that are collected and tabulated. This observation process is time-consuming.


The multivariate analysis techniques are being used at large by organizations. This applied multivariate statistical analysis is the outcome of the multivariate correlation analysis is the basis for the sales plan. These methods of multivariate analysis are used to set goals too in the organizations.

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