Let's say that we ran an analysis (e.g. statistical analysis). What is the difference in meaning between:

The result of this statistical analysis

The output of this statistical analysis

When can I use 'result' and when I can use 'output'? What is correct synonym to "result" to be used?

  • 3
    You mean outcome or output ? output is usually used for physical locations on devices such as an AC output, a usb output, and so on
    – Cardinal
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 20:18
  • No I mean output
    – goro
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 20:20
  • 1
    "result" is much more better. "Output" does not seem a good choice in this case. Check here oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/output
    – user33000
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 20:21
  • What is the correct synonym to "result" to be used?
    – goro
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 20:22
  • 2
    Outcome seems better.
    – user33000
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 20:27

3 Answers 3


I see it this way: The output is the raw data that was generated by the statistical analysis. This is the information generated by the process before it has been considered and evaluated by the person or people who will make a decision.

The result is the decision made (or direction that you are going to take) based on your interpretation of the data.

So I see the output being the information generated by the computer, and the result being the decision made based on the output, or the impact the output had.


Be careful. Result and output are slippery and depend a lot on context.

The result of the statistical analysis was that we all packed up work and went to the pub

The output of the statistical analysis is represented in the table below

Generally, an action yields a result in the form of an output. So the result from the statistical analysis would typically be an output in the form of a dataset.

However, the further study of that data (another action) yielded a result in the form of a decision to go to the pub. That makes it seem like the decision is a result in itself when actually it is a subsequent output.

No matter how complex or how simple, all calculations tend to follow the same path:

input --> action --> result --> output

So, in your example:

    Data       Analysis       Raw data        Dataset  
          -->            -->           -->
   (Input)     (Action)       (Result)        (Output)  

Feeds in to

   Datasets    Analysis       Conclusion      Decision  
          -->            -->           -->
   (Input)     (Action)       (Result)        (Output)  

So, if the world was run by mathematicians and information scientists, that would be the end of it, everything is linked and nested iterations of that pattern. Sadly, it's not :) and English comes along and confuses things by often using the two terms interchangeably.


Bad or good is the output, no matter good or bad that’s the implication of what we do. Result is a pre-determined output, that’s why more controllable. The degree of good is higher than bad supposed to be. Outcome is the impact of both output and/or result

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