Free course

# Interpreting data: Boxplots and tables

Free statement of participation on completion

## Course reviews

This free course, Interpreting data: Boxplots and tables, is concerned with two main topics. In Section 1, you will learn about another kind of graphical display, the boxplot. A boxplot is a fairly simple graphic, which displays certain summary statistics of a set of data. Boxplots are particularly useful for assessing quickly the location, dispersion, and symmetry or skewness of a set of data, and for making comparisons of these features in two or more data sets. Boxplots can also be useful for drawing attention to possible outliers in a data set. The other topic, which is covered in Sections 2 and 3, is that of dealing with data presented in tabular form. You are, no doubt, familiar with such tables: they are common in the media and in reports and other documents. Yet it is not always straightforward to see at first glance just what information a table of data is providing, and it often helps to carry out certain calculations and/or to draw appropriate graphs to make this clearer. In this free course, some other kinds of data tables and some different approaches are covered.

## Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

After studying this course, you should be able to:

• understand and use the following terms: boxplots, box, whisker, upper and lower adjacent values, rate, time series, line plot
• demonstrate an awareness of the idea that the general pattern of a set of data, in terms of location, dispersion and skewness, can be graphically represented in a boxplot
• understand that boxplots can be used to provide a quick and simple comparison of data sets
• understand that patterns in tabular data can be made clearer by leaving out unhelpful information, by including extra pieces of useful information, or by drawing appropriate graphs
• describe and compare data sets on the basis of boxplots.

First Published: 10/08/2012

Updated: 08/04/2019

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