Encyclopedia  |   World Factbook  |   World Flags  |   Reference Tables  |   List of Lists     
   Academic Disciplines  |   Historical Timeline  |   Themed Timelines  |   Biographies  |   How-Tos     
Sponsor by The Tattoo Collection
Summary statistics
Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Summary statistics

Summary statistics are needed when we have a set of observations which we want to summarize, and we want to communicate as much as possible as simply as possible. Statisticians commonly try to describe the observations in
  1. a measure of location, or central tendency, like the arithmetic mean
  2. a measure of statistical dispersion like the standard deviation
  3. a measure of the shape of the distribution like skewness or kurtosis

The median, mode, and interquartile mean are also measures of location. To describe the statistical dispersion, we can use the range, the interquartile range, or the absolute deviation.

The Gini coefficient was originally developed to measure income inequality, but can be used for other purposes as well.

back to statistical theory -- summarizing statistical data