Descriptive Statistics – An Easy Way to Describe Your Data

When we talk about dispersion and measures of central tendency, we talk about descriptive statistics. These measures are termed as descriptive statistics simply because you may use them to describe your data. While it may be easy to collect your research data, describing it in a meaningful manner can be a challenging task for many students. However, descriptive statistics is not terrifying at all, provided you understand its measures and learn to use them in an appropriate manner. In fact, descriptive statistics makes your complex data sets quite simple to comprehend.

Measures of central tendency include mean, median and mode. All these measures help you summarize your lists of scores and describe them through a single number. Is it not amazing to tell your readers about your entire data with a single number? Measures of central tendency really make your task easier by performing a few calculations. For example, you might need to describe the weights of people in your exercise group to an instructor. One way to do this is by telling about every single person and his/her weight. This would make the instructor do some relative calculations in their mind so they may figure out the general weight of people in your group.

Another method is to use the measures of central tendency and give a single average weight figure to your instructor. This is far easier to understand for the person requiring specific and relevant information. Some similar calculations can be done for cases where dispersion needs to be described. In such cases, measures of dispersion can be used. The measures of dispersion include variance, range and standard deviation. These help you understand the spread of scores when you have certain figures with you. Thus, all measures of descriptive statistics help in simplifying your task of describing your data. Overcome your fear and make use of these valuable tools for your research.

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