Summary Statistics Tell You Little About the Big Picture
Mean, median, and mode. These are the first things you learn about in your introductory statistics course. It’s often all you hear about when you see data in the news. People form policies for populations, based on the generalized numbers.
However, these summary statistics can only tell you so much about a dataset, which means you can only learn a limited amount about what the data represents — the people, places, and things.
If you’re the one who consumes the data, you should wonder what the means and medians actually represent. If you’re the one who analyzes the data, spend time with the most granular that time and resources allow for. Something more interesting will almost always come out of it.
Become a member.
Get unlimited access to tutorials, courses, and practical guides. Make great charts.
This is for people interested in the process of creating, designing, and exploring data graphics. Your support goes directly to FlowingData, an independently run site.
What You Get
- Learn to make any chart with instant access to step-by-step tutorials.
- Download source code and files to use with your own data.
- In-depth courses on visualization to learn at your own pace.
- Stay up-to-date with additional resources and visualization tools.
- Get the members-only newsletter.
How You Will Die
So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.
The Stages of Relationships, Distributed
Everyone’s relationship timeline is a little different. This animation plays out real-life paths to marriage.
Interactive: When Do Americans Leave For Work?
We don’t all start our work days at the same time, despite what morning rush hour might have you think.