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. Follow-up 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.

Developed by Miller/Waymire, Daytona Beach Community College