A unique approach weaves background information about data with practical, hands-on lessons that develop fundamental research skills all students should understand. Easy-to-follow tutorials provide readers with step-by-step instructions to quickly begin analyzing data without having advanced knowledge of data analysis or statistics. Extensive illustrations throughout the book demonstrate to readers how to understand data. End-of-chapter On Your Own exercises challenge readers to develop their skills through easy-to-use data files and questions to reinforce the chapter learning objectives. Student Study Site includes data sets that readers can use to test their data literacy

Number Summaries and Comparisons

So far, we have learned how to identify, obtain, evaluate and clean our data. All of this is necessary to get ready for the next step: learning how to analyze our data so we can make better decisions or become more informed. This chapter introduces concepts that can help us develop best practices for analyzing data. Chapters 9 and 10 will show how to use Excel or other spreadsheet programs to generate meaningful information with formulas and pivot tables.

When we work with data, we often generate what are called summary statistics. Some examples are counts, sums and averages. These numbers are used to take snapshots or provide descriptions of our data. We can generate ...

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