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Summary Statistics

  • Do not put your faith in what statistics say until you have carefully considered what they do not say.

    William W. Watt (1912 - 1996)

  • The errors which arise from the absence of facts are far more numerous and more durable than those which result from unsound reasoning respecting true data.

    Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

  • Who says a statistics teacher can't play a mean guitar ... with X-barre chords?

    Larry Lesser (1964 - )

  • Data is what distinguishes the dilettante from the artist.

    George Vincent Higgins (1939 - 1999)

  • ...the goal is to transform data into information, and information into insight.

    Carly Fiorina (1954 - )

  • Descriptive Statistics are like Real Estate plus. They are all about location, location, location ... plus spread, spread, spread.

    Dennis Pearl (1951 - )

  • USA Today has come out with a new survey - apparently three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population.

    David Letterman (1947 - )

  • The only statistics you can trust are those you falsified yourself.

    Sir Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)
    (Attribution to Churchill is ironically falsified)

  • Legal proceedings are like statistics. If you manipulate them, you can prove anything.

    Arthur Hailey (1920 - 2004)

  • Song copyright by Gary Cziko

    Well I [G] got me some data [C] to make me more [G] wise,
    But the [C] data I [G] had to [D7] summarize,
    Since my [G] Ed Psych 480 I did [C] mem-o-[G]-rize ,
    I [C] knew just [D7] what to [G] do.

    Refrain: Oh, the [D7] mode, the mean, and the [C] med-i-[G]-an,
    For a [C] large set of [G] data you [D7] choose just one,
    As a typical value we [C] have these [G] three
    Measures [C] of Central [D7] Ten-den-[G]-cy.

    Now the [G] mode is quite easy to [C] find, you [G] see,
    But it [C] suffers from [G] insta-[D7]-bil-ity,
    Yet for [G] categorical data use it [C] confident-[G]- ly,
    There [C] just ain't no [D7] other [G] choice.

    Repeat Refrain

    If you [G] like to rank data use the [C] me-di-[G]-an,
    It's so [C] much [G] fun to find the [D7] middle one,
    But if [G] you have two middle values [C] not [G] one
    Their [C] midpoint is [D7] what [G] you need.

    Repeat Refrain

    The [G] a-rith-metic mean may be [C] your best [G] bet,
    And [C] you can be [G] sure that I'll [D7] never for-get,
    It [G] reflects all the values of the [C] data [G] set,
    [C] E-ven those [D7] quite [G] ex-treme.