4. Descriptive Statistics: On the Way to Elementary Probability

  1. Paolo Brandimarte

Published Online: 24 MAY 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781118023525.ch4

Quantitative Methods: An Introduction for Business Management

Quantitative Methods: An Introduction for Business Management

How to Cite

Brandimarte, P. (2011) Descriptive Statistics: On the Way to Elementary Probability, in Quantitative Methods: An Introduction for Business Management, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9781118023525.ch4

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 MAY 2011
  2. Published Print: 4 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470496343

Online ISBN: 9781118023525

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Keywords:

  • descriptive statistics;
  • elementary probability;
  • mean;
  • percentile;
  • quantile;
  • variance

Summary

This chapter introduces basic statistical concepts, drawing the line between descriptive and inferential statistics, and illustrates the difference between sample and population, as well as between qualitative and quantitative variables. Descriptive statistics provides a reader with several tools for organizing and displaying data, some of which are outlined in the chapter. Then, the chapter deals with quite natural summary measures such as mean and variance, and measures of relative standing including percentiles. Percentiles are a good case in point, as there is no standard definition and software packages may compute them in different ways; yet, they are a good way to get some intuitive feeling for probabilistic concepts, like quantiles, that are relevant in many applications in logistics and finance. Finally, the chapter moves from data in a single dimension to data in multiple dimensions.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

descriptive statistics; mean; percentile; quantile function; variance