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Summary Statistics

  • 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.

  • Lyric copyright by Lawrence Mark Lesser
    May sing to tune of "Love and Marriage" (Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen)

    What's the av'rage, what's the av'rage--
    It's a question to be askin':
    When it's in the media,
    Please ask what does it mean t'ya?

    What's the av'rage, what's the av'rage?
    Each kind has its own baggage--
    Some try to fool the plebian
    By choosing mean or median!

    Are... there... outlier values
    or lots of skewness?
    Do we... want... middle or the total?
    Let's review this...

    What's the av'rage, what's the av'rage?
    It's a question we must manage:
    When it's in the media,
    You gotta know, you gotta know,
    You gotta know what it means t'ya!

  • Lyrics copyright by Sheila O'Leary Weaver
    may sing to the tune of "I Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor)

    At first I was afraid; I was petrified.
    I just hadn't realized my data was skewed to one side.
    And now I'd spent so many hours finding the mean and the SD,
    But now I see, just how misleading they can be.

    So now I'll go; walk out the door.
    I'll get an F in here; I may not stay in college anymore.
    I should have dropped this stupid class; I should have bought the answer key.
    I should have thought for just one second, office hours were for me.

    But no, I'll try, a new technique.
    I'll rank the data, and the middle is the median I seek.
    The middles of the halves are called the Quartiles 1 and 3,
    Add the min and max - that's the five number summary.

    Stat 51, I will survive
    As long as I can pass this class, I know I'll be alive,
    I've got all my life to live,
    One semester's time to give:
    I will survive, I will survive,
    Hey, Hey....

    Dance Interlude

    To put it in a graph, I'll draw a number line.
    Make spacing even or interpretation's undermined.
    Draw vertical lines at each number and connect the middle three,
    And a boxplot will result to show the lack of symmetry.

    And now I'll find the IQR.
    It's Q3 minus Q1. If it's big, the data spreads out far.
    If a number's more than 1.5 IQR from the box,
    It gets a star, and you can call it an outlier.

    And now I'm done. My summary,
    Is more appropriate for data that is lacking symmetry
    The mean and the SD may be affected by the skew.
    But my way's strong: It's more robust and it's not wrong....

    Stat 51, I will survive
    As long as I can pass this class, I know I'll be alive,
    I've got all my life to live,
    One semester's time to give:
    I will survive, I will survive,
    Hey, Hey....

    More Dancing

  • Lyrics copyright Al G. Bra from his album "Old-Time Radical"
    Music: Superstition (Stevie Wonder)

    Very statistitious, bell curve on the wall,
    Very statistitious, so empirical,
    Normal distribution, centered 'round the mean
    Standard deviations, most fall within three

    When they deceive with things that you don't understand
    Distort the numbers
    Statistitions lie all day

    Very statistitious, probability
    Mind your p's and q's, they're complementary
    Median or mean, central tendency
    Make a distribution, show the frequency

    So you'll believe in things that you don't understand
    They twist the numbers
    Statistitions fabricate

    (Scream) MUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

    Very statistitious, show significance
    With an estimation, know your confidence
    Gettin' inferential, hypothesis test
    Linear regression, the line that fits the best

    When they deceive with things that you don't understand
    Invent the numbers
    Statistitions know the way