Observational error

Observational error (or measurement error) is the difference between a measured value of a quantity and its true value.[1] In statistics, an error is not a "mistake". Variability is an inherent part of the results of measurements and of the measurement process.

Measurement errors can be divided into two components: random error and systematic error.[2]

Random errors are errors in measurement that lead to measurable values being inconsistent when repeated measurements of a constant attribute or quantity are taken. Systematic errors are errors that are not determined by chance but are introduced by an inaccuracy (involving either the observation or measurement process) inherent to the system.[3] Systematic error may also refer to an error with a non-zero mean, the effect of which is not reduced when observations are averaged.[citation needed]