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Other Distributions

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16.9
Most of the variables I’ve been showing you have a sort of bell curve to them. This is very common and reflects a common situation. Most people are in the middle and some people are at the extremes. Knowing the shape of a distribution tells you about that variable. It gives you insights into how it works. But I just want to mention that they don’t always have that shape. Here’s an example, we call the uniform distribution in which every score is equally likely in this case, I’ve counted how often different days of the week happen in a year. And that shouldn’t surprise you, they all happen equally often. No day of the week happens more on average.
53.2
So knowing that, again, gives you insights into what that variable is doing. And so there’s some value in graphing the histograms and looking at the shape. I’m not going to go through all the different ones, but there are many distributions that statisticians have come up with. And if you can just go ahead and look at the distribution of your data, you can kind of get some insights into what it’s doing. And if you’re interested, you can search on the internet for different distributions– I’ve got three other common ones on the screen here– and you can get a sense as to different shapes that data might take. All that to say, histogram your data.
87.5
When you look at your data visually, you’ll get a good insight into what that variable is doing.
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Essential Mathematics for Data Analysis in Microsoft Excel

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