In an increasingly data-driven world, it is more important than ever for students as well as professionals to better understand basic statistical concepts. 100 Questions (and Answers) About Statistics addresses the essential questions that students ask about statistics in a concise and accessible way. It is perfect for instructors, students, and practitioners as a supplement to more comprehensive materials, or as a desk reference with quick answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What Are Descriptive Statistics, and How Are They Used?

What Are Descriptive Statistics, and How Are They Used?

Descriptive statistics are used to organize and describe the characteristics of a set of data (also called a distribution). Descriptive statistics are the first tools used to explore the data, getting some important indications of what the data set “looks like.”

There are two general categories of descriptive statistics.

The first category consists of those that look at measures of central tendency, such as the mean, the median, and the mode—all of which are referred to as “averages.” Any one of these can be used to represent the one best point that represents a set of data. For example, if we were interested in hamburger sales at a local restaurant, the first question we might ask is ...

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