Show Summary Details

p. 212. Simple descriptionslocked

  • David J. Hand


‘Simple descriptions’ outlines the basic tools available to statisticians. Data describe the universe we wish to study, but it can never be an exhaustive description of our subject. It is common to convert our data into numerical values, as these values have only one property, and as such can be easily compared and manipulated. Simple summary statistics allow us to condense relationships between a distribution of data to a single value. Averaging is a common summary statistic, and can be expressed as the mean, median, or mode. The dispersion of data is also important, and can be measured by the range, standard deviation, skewness and quantiles.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.