2. Basic concepts

  1. A. Gouveia Oliveira

Published Online: 12 JUL 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118670767.ch02

Biostatistics Decoded

Biostatistics Decoded

How to Cite

Oliveira, A. G. (ed) (2013) Basic concepts, in Biostatistics Decoded, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118670767.ch02

Editor Information

  1. Department of Pharmacy, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN, Brazil

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 JUL 2013
  2. Published Print: 3 SEP 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119953371

Online ISBN: 9781118670767



  • central limit theorem;
  • central tendency measures;
  • data compression;
  • data reduction;
  • frequency distributions;
  • measures of dispersion;
  • normal distribution;
  • scales of measurement;
  • standard deviation;
  • tabulations


This chapter reviews some basic statistical concepts, including, data reduction, scales of measurement, tabulations of data, central tendency measures, measures of dispersion, and data compression. Standard deviation, n-1 divisor, means and variances, common frequency distributions, normal distribution, central limit theorem, and statistical tables are also discussed. The intermediate result of any clinical investigation is typically a large set of numeric and coded data. In order to understand the information contained in a list of numbers the data must be compressed into just a few numbers. To evaluate the results of a clinical study the data must be abstracted. To do that, we must first identify the scale of measurement used with each attribute in the dataset, and then decide which is the best method for summarizing the data. One simple method to compress the data is the tabulation of the data.