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Developed by Miller/Waymire, Daytona Beach Community College
Excel Activity #3:
Investigating Mean, Median, Mode, and
Standard Deviation
Description
:
This lesson uses Excel to investigate several properties of the mean, median,
mode and standard deviation. It investigates situations where the median is
preferred over the mean as a measure of central tendency. It also explores the
effect on the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation after adding or
subtracting a constant to each value of a data set.
Part I
:
Comparing the mean and median
The owner of a small business hires 5 employees. The annual salaries for the
employees and owner are shown below.
.
Employees
.
. Owner .
$32,000
$28,000
$31,000
$27,000
$45,000
$210,000
1)
Use Excel or your calculator to compute the mean and median of the salaries
of all six people.
Followup Questions
:
1.
The owner of the business wants to hire another employee. The owner
places an ad in the newspaper and states that the average salary for the
company is $62K.
Comment.
2.
Which is a better statistic to describe the salary of the “average” employee
at this company, the mean or the median?
3.
Make a general statement describing the circumstances when the median
might be a preferred measure of central tendency over the mean.
4.
Which do you think is a better measure of central tendency when
describing housing prices, the mean or the median? Explain your answer.
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Part II
: Comparing the mean and the median
A statistics student works hard for the first 11 weeks of the semester and
receives the following test scores:
92, 90, 95, 91. However, the student
slacks off and scores 27 on the 5
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 Spring '08
 ihcsol
 Mean, Median, Mode, Standard Deviation

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