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Summarising data

Once the data has been collected, it must be organised in a manner that allows for the information to be extracted most efficiently. For this reason it is useful to be able to summarise the data set by calculating a few quantities that give information about how the data values are spread and about the central values in the data set. Other methods of summarising and representing data will be covered in grade 11.

Measures of central tendency

Mean or average

The mean, (also known as arithmetic mean), is simply the arithmetic average of a group of numbers (or data set) and is shown using the bar symbol ¯ . So the mean of the variable x is x ¯ pronounced "x-bar". The mean of a set of values is calculated by adding up all the values in the set and dividing by the number of items in that set. The mean is calculated from the raw, ungrouped data.


The mean of a data set, x , denoted by x ¯ , is the average of the data values, and is calculated as:

x ¯ = sum of all values number of all values = x 1 + x 2 + x 3 + ... + x n n

Method: Calculating the mean

  1. Find the total of the data values in the data set.
  2. Count how many data values there are in the data set.
  3. Divide the total by the number of data values.

What is the mean of x = { 10 , 20 , 30 , 40 , 50 } ?

  1. 10 + 20 + 30 + 40 + 50 = 150
  2. There are 5 values in the data set.

  3. 150 ÷ 5 = 30
  4. the mean of the data set x = { 10 , 20 , 30 , 40 , 50 } is 30.

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The median of a set of data is the data value in the central position, when the data set has been arranged from highest to lowest or from lowest to highest. There are an equal number of data values on either side of the median value.

The median is calculated from the raw, ungrouped data, as follows.

Method: Calculating the median

  1. Order the data from smallest to largest or from largest to smallest.
  2. Count how many data values there are in the data set.
  3. Find the data value in the central position of the set.

What is the median of { 10 , 14 , 86 , 2 , 68 , 99 , 1 } ?

  1. 1,2,10,14,68,86,99

  2. There are 7 points in the data set.

  3. The central position of the data set is 4.

  4. 14 is in the central position of the data set.

  5. 14 is the median of the data set { 1 , 2 , 10 , 14 , 68 , 86 , 99 } .

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This example has highlighted a potential problem with determining the median. It is very easy to determine the median of a data set with an odd number of data values, but what happens when there is an even number of data values in the data set?

When there is an even number of data values, the median is the mean of the two middle points.

Finding the central position of a data set

An easy way to determine the central position or positions for any ordered data set is to take the total number of data values, add 1, and then divide by 2. If the number you get is a whole number, then that is the central position. If the number you get is a fraction, take the two whole numbers on either side of the fraction, as the positions of the data values that must be averaged to obtain the median.

Questions & Answers

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 maths [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11306/1.4
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