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Part 1 Now that we know about data, we continue our journey with two fundamental descriptive statistics that help us understand fundamental things about a data set. In discussion this week, we are go
Now that we know about data, we continue our journey with two fundamental descriptive statistics that help us understand fundamental things about a data set. In discussion this week, we are going to explore MEASURES of CENTER, which includes our Mean (aka Average), Median and Mode, and MEASURE of VARIABILITY, which includes Standard Deviation.
Respond to the following in a minimum of 175 words:
- Discuss the concepts of Mean, Median, Mode, and Standard Deviation, including when each should be used, and evaluate the differences of each. How can knowing this information about data help us?
- Describe an example from your own personal or professional experiences about using either Measures of Center (mean, median, or mode) or standard deviation, and discuss how knowing that information helped you
Part 2. Respond to the following classmate in a minimum of 100 words.
“Good evening all,
Mean is the mathematical center of the data set; most people know it as the average. It is calculated by adding all values in the data set, then dividing that sum by the number of values in the set. It is used most often to compare individual rank within a population or sample.
The median is the actual numerical middle value after the data has been sorted. If there are an even number of values in the data set, take the two middle values and find their average. If there is an odd number of values in the data set, simply use the middle value as the median value. It should be used when there are several outliers in the dataset that may result in a skewed or bias measure of center.
The mode is the value within a dataset that appears most often. In other words, it is the number that is regularly repeated in a set of numbers. It is used to determine which items in a data set are used the most. For example, what is the most popular color of new vehicles sold in the U.S. each year?
Standard Deviation measures how much variation the value is from the mean. It is used to measure the spread of the data set. A small standard deviation shows a tight spread, while a large standard of deviation illustrates a wider spread of the data set.
Though these are considered measurements of center, each retrieves a different value depending on what will be done with the findings. Are we looking for the average, the actual middle number, the most popular number, or the distance from the average?
At a former job, my team was required to process a certain number of units each month. Some weeks those units were easier to come by than other weeks. To help set a daily goal, I took the monthly quota and divided it by the working days of the month to find the daily mean. If we completed above that mean, I knew we were ahead, if I was below, I knew my crew must increase production.” -Tyson B.
Part 3. Reply to the following classmate in a minimum of 100 words.
“I do not find myself in using mode often, as mode is described as a number in a data set that occurs most frequently. I would say the only that I use mode in my profession is when I am reviewing performance reviews and conducting a count by category ie: number of “meets expectations” verses “exceeded expectations”. I often compare the category with the highest count of employees to the prior year.
I also only use standard deviations as part of our personality assessments (predictive index). Each category in the assessment is broken out into six deviations and based on where you fall indicates a portion of your personality traits. For example, my B factor (extroversion) swing 4 deviations between my natural self and how I present myself at work. This is a non traditional swing.
I do use mean and median all the time though! When I perform a compensation analysais or review for the the board I provide them with mean salaries of our staff, median and also in the market place. I do exclude outlier salaires just as the owner or President as they skew the data dramatically in the mean.” – Tara T.