# 3: Data Description

- Page ID
- 10923

In this chapter, you will study numerical and graphical ways to describe and display your data. This area of statistics is called "Descriptive Statistics." You will learn how to calculate, and even more importantly, how to interpret these measurements and graphs.

- 3.0: Prelude to Descriptive Statistics
- In this chapter, you will study numerical and graphical ways to describe and display your data. This area of statistics is called "Descriptive Statistics." You will learn how to calculate, and even more importantly, how to interpret these measurements and graphs. In this chapter, we will briefly look at stem-and-leaf plots, line graphs, and bar graphs, as well as frequency polygons, and time series graphs. Our emphasis will be on histograms and box plots.

- 3.1: Measures of the Center of the Data
- The mean and the median can be calculated to help you find the "center" of a data set. The mean is the best estimate for the actual data set, but the median is the best measurement when a data set contains several outliers or extreme values. The mode will tell you the most frequently occurring datum (or data) in your data set. The mean, median, and mode are extremely helpful when you need to analyze your data.

- 3.2: Measures of Variation
- An important characteristic of any set of data is the variation in the data. In some data sets, the data values are concentrated closely near the mean; in other data sets, the data values are more widely spread out from the mean. The most common measure of variation, or spread, is the standard deviation. The standard deviation is a number that measures how far data values are from their mean.

- 3.3: Measures of Position
- The values that divide a rank-ordered set of data into 100 equal parts are called percentiles and are used to compare and interpret data. For example, an observation at the 50th percentile would be greater than 50 % of the other obeservations in the set. Quartiles divide data into quarters. The first quartile is the 25th percentile, the second quartile is 50th percentile, and the third quartile is the the 75th percentile. The interquartile range is the range of the middle 50 % of the data values

- 3.4: Exploratory Data Analysis
- Box plots are a type of graph that can help visually organize data. To graph a box plot the following data points must be calculated: the minimum value, the first quartile, the median, the third quartile, and the maximum value. Once the box plot is graphed, you can display and compare distributions of data.

- 3.E: Descriptive Statistics (Optional Exercises)
- These are homework exercises to accompany the Textmap created for "Introductory Statistics" by OpenStax.

## Contributors and Attributions

Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean (De Anza College) with many other contributing authors. Content produced by OpenStax College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 license. Download for free at http://cnx.org/contents/30189442-699...b91b9de@18.114.