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  1. Aggregating data is fundamental to data analytics, data exploration, and OLAP. Approximate query processing (AQP) techniques are often used to accelerate computation of aggregates using samples, for which confidence intervals (CIs) are widely used to quantify the associated error. CIs used in practice fall into two categories: techniques that are tight but not correct, i.e., they yield tight intervals but only offer asymptoticguarantees,makingthem unreliable, or techniques that are correct but not tight, i.e., they offer rigorous guarantees, but are overly conservative, leading to confidence intervals that are too loose to be useful. In this paper, we develop a CI technique that is both correct and tighter than traditional approaches. Starting from conservative CIs, we identify two issues they often face: pessimistic mass allocation (PMA) and phantom outlier sensitivity (PHOS). By developing a novel range-trimming technique for eliminating PHOS and pairing it with known CI techniques without PMA, we develop a technique for computing CIs with strong guarantees that requires fewer samples for the same width. We implement our techniques underneath a sampling-optimized in-memory column store and show how they accelerate queries involving aggregates on real datasets with typical speedups on the order of 10× over both traditional AQP-with-guarantees and exactmore »methods, all while obeying accuracy constraints.« less