# March 21 - Understanding Data Distributions First things...

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March 21, 2008 Understanding Data Distributions First things first o When you are ready to conduct a statistical analysis the first thing you should do is carefully examine your data o This should occur before any statistical analyses o Data examinations can occur in tabular and graphical forms (both are recommended.) Frequency table (tabular display) o Can show: Exactly how many values a variable has How many cases or observations fall into each (and the percent or proportion of the total that the frequency represents) How extreme the values are Whether and to the extent the cases are unequally distributed Type of hate crime incident reported to the police in 2000 (Table 3.2) Type of hate f (frequency) Proportion Percent Racial 4337 .5408 54.08% Religious 1472 .1836 18.36% Sexual orientation 1299 .1620 16.20% Ethnicity/national origin 911 .1136 11.36% total 8019 1.000 100.00% Graphical display o A graphical presentation of the distribution of a variable can show in a picture form much of the same information Usually with much less detail – but in a way that is much easier to interpret right away (frequency bar graph) Why use frequency tables and graphical displays?

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March 21 - Understanding Data Distributions First things...

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