Simple Statistics Tutorial

Many people do not know what the word "statistics" means, but they must have made statements that are statistical in nature in their everyday lives. For example, if you made statements like "You have a better chance of getting a promotion if your boss likes you", and "Children should sleep for an average of nine hours per day", you are showing that you are able to think statistically. By definition, statistics refers to the design and application of methods for the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. And it is used to calculate the odds or probability that a certain event will occur.

For those of you who are new to the study of statistics, here are some basic instructions that will prepare you for further understanding of the subject:

1) Organize data - To organize your data, you have to arrange the numbers in such a way that the smallest number will appear first and the largest number will be last. For example, if you are given a set of numbers that has 2, 4, 5, 3, and 1, you have to rearrange them as 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

2) Find the range - The range of a set of numbers refers to the interval between the smallest number and the largest number. To calculate the range, all you have to do is find the difference between the number with the highest value and the one with the lowest. From the previous set of numbers of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, the range is determined by subtracting 1 from 5.

5 - 1 = 4

Therefore, the range of this set of numbers is 4.

3) Find the mean - The mean of a set of numbers is the average value of all the numbers. To calculate the mean, just add up all the values of the numbers and divide the total by the quantity of numbers in the set. From the set of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, the sum of all the numbers is 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15, and the quantity of numbers is 5. Hence, the mean is:

15 ÷ 5 = 3

The mean of the set of numbers is 3.

4) Find the median - The median refers to the number that is in the middle of the set. Looking at the set of numbers of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, it is quite clear that the middle number is 3. Therefore, the median of this set of numbers is 3.

5) Find the mode - The mode refers to the number that shows up the most in a set. Let's say the set is made of the numbers 4, 6, 2, 1, and 6. It can be seen that 6 shows up more often than any of the other numbers. Hence, the mode of this set of numbers is 6.

Presently, statistics is considered a very important field of study in many disciplines of education, such as engineering, medicine, sociology, physics, and psychology. It is also widely used in various aspects of the society, including business, politics, technology, agriculture, and others. Because statistics is so widely practiced in the modern world, it will benefit you greatly if you have a good understanding of the subject. If you find it a hassle to attend a statistics course in a local institution, you may want to consider using some of the online colleges that offer online degrees.

Published: 2010-01-20