Summary Statistics

In descriptive statistics, summary statistics are used to summarize a set of observations, in order to communicate the largest amount as simply as possible. Statisticians commonly try to describe the observations in

  • a measure of location, or central tendency, such as the arithmetic mean
  • a measure of statistical dispersion like the standard deviation
  • a measure of the shape of the distribution like skewness or kurtosis
  • if more than one variable is measured, a measure of statistical dependence such as a correlation coefficient

A common collection of order statistics used as summary statistics are the five-number summary, sometimes extended to a seven-number summary, and the associated box plot.

Entries in an analysis of variance table can also be regarded as summary statistics.

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