Statistics Basics

A bar graphs displays data in categories.

When you first start a statistics class, you’ll be presented with the basics. Some of the terms, like bar graphs and line graphs, you’ll probably be familiar with from grade school math classes. Other terms, (like interquartile range) might be new to you. This site has a comprehensive range of articles covering statistics basics. Most of the articles have videos attached (you can always check out our YouTube channel for the complete list of hundreds of videos).

Pre-Statisitcs:

Statistics Basics: Overview

The most common basic statistics terms you’ll come across are the mean, mode and median. These are all what are known as “Measures of Central Tendency.” Also important in this early chapter of statistics is the shape of a distribution. This tells us something about how data is spread out around the mean or median. Perhaps the most common distribution you’ll see is the normal distribution, sometimes called a bell curve. Heights, weights, and many other things found in nature tend to be shaped like this:

IQ scores fit a bell curve shape.

On the other end of the scale, you can also get a flat distribution. With this shape, the odds of anything happening are equal. For example, a uniform distribution can represent choosing a particular card from a standard deck; all the cards have a 1/52 chance of being chosen. Or tossing a coin, where you have a 50% chance of tossing a heads or a tails.

A uniform distribution.

Basic statistics lays the foundation for further studies in statistics. It includes lots of ways to classify and sort variables and data so that they can be studied with tools you’ll be introduced to later. For example, correlation and hypothesis testing.

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If you prefer an online interactive environment to learn R and statistics, this free R Tutorial by Datacamp is a great way to get started. If you're are somewhat comfortable with R and are interested in going deeper into Statistics, try this Statistics with R track.

5 thoughts on “Statistics Basics”

1. walaa gomaa

Hi;
I want to know how to put the superscripts between different groups
for example if i have these estimate among five groups:16.6, 14.9, 14.6, 14.7, 16.0 and the p value is 0.08

2. Andale Post author

I’m not sure what you mean by putting the superscripts between different groups. Could you post more details about what it is you need to find?

3. Fatima Alzahra

Can you explain to us the Spearman’s rho correlation??
I have found person’s correlation only.
Thanks