Statistics How To

Basic Statistics (Descriptive Statistics)

Probability and Statistics index > Basic statistics

basic statistics median

Here you’ll find a series of articles that breaks basic statistics down into simple steps; everything from finding a range to understanding the difference between different variable types.

How-To Articles for Basic Statistics

  1. Interquartile Range: How to Find it.
  2. Discrete Variable vs Continuous Variables.
  3. How to Find a Range.
  4. How to Detect Fake Statistics.
  5. How to Find a Five Number Summary.
  6. How to Tell the Difference Between Different Sampling Methods.
  7. How to Find the Sample Standard Deviation.
  8. How to find standard deviation (more examples).
  9. How to Find the coefficient of variation.
  10. How to Find Outliers.
  11. How to Classify a Variable as Quantitative or Qualitative.
  12. How to Find the Pooled Sample Standard Error.
  13. How to Tell the Difference Between a Statistic and a Parameter.
  14. How to Find the Population Variance.
  15. How to Find the Sample Mean.
  16. Regression to the Mean.


  1. How to Find the Mode.
  2. How to Find the Mean in Excel.
  3. How to Find the Mode in Excel.
  4. How to Find the Median in Excel.
  5. How to Find the Standard Deviation in Excel.
  6. How to Find an Interquartile Range in Excel.
  7. How to Find a 5 Number Summary in Excel.


  1. What is an Absolute Value?
  2. What is Bias in Statistics?
  3. What is Bivariate Data?
  4. What are Categorical Variables?
  5. What is a Census?
  6. What is a Continuous Variable?
  7. What is a Dependent Event?
  8. What is a Discrete Variable?
  9. What is Elementary Statistics?
  10. What is a Factorial?
  11. What is a Five Number Summary?
  12. What is an Independent event?
  13. What is the Interquartile Range formula?
  14. Interquartile range: How to find it.
  15. What is an IQR?
  16. What are measures of dispersion?
  17. What are Outliers?
  18. What is the Mean, Mode and Median?
  19. What is a Parameter?
  20. What are Parameter Statistics?
  21. What are Quantitative Variables?
  22. What is Sample Variance?
  23. What is Standard Deviation?
  24. What is a Statistic?

Mean vs Average

Basic Statistics

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.

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.

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.

Next: Descriptive Statistics (Charts, Graphs and Plots).

Basic Statistics (Descriptive Statistics) was last modified: April 20th, 2015 by Andale

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