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This free course, Exploring data: graphs and numerical summaries, will introduce you to a number of ways of representing data graphically and of summarising data numerically. You will learn the uses for pie charts, bar charts, histograms and scatterplots. You will also be introduced to various ways of summarising data and methods for assessing location and dispersion.
Studying this unit will help you work towards the following learning outcomes:
- Know and be able to use standard symbols and notation: for the pth value in a data set when the values are written in order, the sample lower and upper quartiles and the sample median, the sample mean and the standard deviation.
- Be aware that data can have a pattern which may be represented graphically.
- Be aware that the standard deviation and the interquartile range are measures of the dispersion in a data set.
- Be aware that the median and the interquartile range are more resistant measures than are the
mean and the standard deviation.
- Acquire the skill of gaining an overall 'feel' for data and the way they are distributed by constructing appropriate graphical displays.
- Acquire the skill of describing data sets on the basis of graphical displays and numerical summaries.
- Acquire the skill of calculating summary measures such as the median, the upper and lower quartiles, the mean, the standard deviation and the variance, using a calculator.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 0 Introducing data
- 1.1 Data and questions
- 2.3 Pie charts and bar charts
- 2.3.1 Introduction
- 1.3.2: Pie charts: surgical removal of tattoos
- 1.2.3 Pie charts: Nuclear power stations
- 1.2.4 Bar charts: nuclear power stations
- 1.2.5 Bar charts: Surgical removal of tattoos
- 1.2.6 Problems with graphics
- 1.2.7 Problems with graphics: USA workforce
- 1.2.8 Problems with graphics: nuclear power stations
- 1.2.9 Pie charts and bar charts: summary
- 3 Histograms and scatterplots
- 4: Numerical summaries
- 1.4.1 Introduction
- 1.4.2 Measures of location
- 4.3: The median
- 1.4.6: Measures of dispersion
- 4.7: Quartiles and the interquartile range
- 1.4.8 The standard deviation
- 1.4.9 Sample variance
- 1.4.10 A note on accuracy
- 4.11: Symmetry and skewness
- 4.12: Numerical summaries: summary
- 5: Summary
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Exploring data: graphs and numerical summaries
This unit will introduce you to a number of ways of representing data graphically and of summarising data numerically. You will learn the uses for pie charts, bar charts, histograms and scatterplots. You will also be introduced to various ways of summarising data and methods for assessing location and dispersion.
This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course M248
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Wednesday, 27th July 2011
Last updated on: Wednesday, 5th March 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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