You should summarize data with the geometric mean

Illustration by the author

The Median

Extreme Values

The Arithmetic Mean

Make Sure it Makes Sense

The Geometric Mean

Skewed Data

  1. Plot the distribution of your data, after applying a logarithm to them (any will do).
  2. If the curve appears bell-shaped, i.e. “normal” or “gaussian,” then the original distribution was approximately log-normal.
  1. Compare the range of your data (minimum and maximum) with the mean: Find differences between them and the mean, and also the quotients.
  2. If the differences are about the same, it means the data are fairly symmetric, and normal. But if the quotients are similar, the data are more likely log-symmetric, and skewed to the left lognormally.

Equal Ratios

Compound rates

Different Scales



Removing Zeros

Some other Tidbits

Parting Thought

Data, graphics, games. So You Need to Learn R.

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Jasper McChesney

Jasper McChesney

Data, graphics, games. So You Need to Learn R.

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