What Are Descriptive Statistics?

Descriptive statistics are descriptions of the main factors of a group of data or a summary of the information. These statistics give a snapshot of the information that has been gathered. This type of information is often used when there are so many variables in a data cluster that it would be nearly impossible to list or graph every single factor of the information.

A common descriptive statistic is the mean or average of the statistical information that is gathered in the collection of information. This is normally found by dividing the sum of the data by the sample size. Range is used to show the distance between the two most extreme values in the collected date. It's calculated by simply subtracting the smallest value from the largest to show the difference in the two statistics. Keeping track of variances as part of the descriptive statistics is helpful because it can show at a glance the deviation away from the mean or average of the date collected. This statistic will also show how often the variation from the average occurs throughout the amount of data that has been collected. Descriptive statistics can come in numerous forms, including easy-to-read graphs, quantitative descriptions and summaries.