Understanding the Range – Statistics 101 Refresher

The range is a descriptive statistic that is commonly used in reports, data dashboards, and more.

It measures the spread of the data, calculated by taking the difference between the lowest and the highest values in the data set.

Refresh your understanding of what the range is, learn the answers to a couple of frequently asked questions about the range, and a couple examples of how the range can be useful by watching the video below or continue to read the rest of this post.

As discussed in the video above, one frequently asked question about the range is if it is the same as the standard deviation. The answer to that is no, it is not. The standard deviation is how far the values are from the mean or average of the data set while the range is the difference between the lowest and the highest values in the data set.

Another frequently asked question is if the range could be a negative number. The answer to that is no, it can not be a negative number. It will either be a positive number because it is the difference between the highest and lowest values or it will be zero if all the numbers are the same in the data set.

One example of how the range could be useful is identifying outliers that are data entry errors in a health study.

Another example would be looking at the range of shipping costs using different packaging materials for an e-commerce store.

The above video goes into more detail for each of those two examples.

Refreshing your understanding of the range can help you to be more prepared to review and better understand data reports or dashboards including this descriptive statistic.

What is an example of how using the range would be useful in a data set from your work or in your life?

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