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Data Analysis

Data Analysis

Author: Katherine Williams

Identify the four components of data analysis.

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Video Transcription

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This tutorial covers data analysis. Data analysis is the process of describing data. Typically, when we're describing data, we're going to use three different things to talk about it. We're going to talk about the shape. We're going to talk about the center. And we're going to talk about the spread.

Now, when we're doing the data analysis and trying to talk about shape, center, and spread, we're going to both use graphs and numerical calculations. We can't rely just on graphs or the calculations alone. We need the two in tandem in order to accurately describe and analyze our data.

Now, the first thing that we can talk about is shape. And that's essentially how the data looks in a graph. Later tutorials will cover exactly how we talk about shape and what kinds of things we can describe.

As far as center goes, that's describing the middle of the data. Now, we can describe this in general like the middle is around here. And again, there are a couple of different ways that we can describe middle, or we can use numerical calculations.

For spread, that's talking about how close or how far values are from the center. And again, we can do this in general like the values are far away or very close to, or we can use a numerical calculation in order to describe it more precisely. One other thing to note with data analysis is the presence of outliers. Outliers are data values that are significantly higher or lower than a majority of the values.

And it's important to note that it's not just an extreme value. So it's not just that you have a really big number, like one million. There must be a big gap between that higher low value and the bulk of the data. So if our data set was the net value of millionaires, a million or a billion dollars wouldn't be that extreme because most of the data would be in that range, in that high range. In order to have an outlier, we'd need to have one value that was significantly higher than the rest of it, and where there's a big gap for that. This has been your tutorial on data analysis.

Terms to Know

The "middle" of the data set. There are many measures of center.

Data Analysis

The understanding of the key features of a set of data - shape, center, spread, and outliers.


Points in a data set that are so high or so low as to be unusual, given the rest of the values.


The qualitative description of the clustering of data points in a certain location when the data are graphed.


The numerical description of how close the numbers are to the center.