Descriptive Statistics


Any analysis of data starts with measures that provide simple summaries to describe the data set. These summaries form the basis for any analytic methods. It is important to note that descriptive statistics does not extend beyond the immediate data and should not be used to infer meaning beyond the data set. Descriptive statistics focusing on a single variable is called univariate analysis, and when it focuses on more than one variable, it is called multivariate analysis. Any description of a variable in a data set should include a measure of (a) distribution, (b) central tendency, and (c) dispersion. Not mentioning all three together will lead to misleading conclusions of the characteristics of the variable in the data set.

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