The mode is your most popular data outcome. Is it important or helpful?
- [Voiceover] In our quest to find a stabilizing center to our data set, we've considered the mean, the median, and even the weighted mean. One other tool that is sometimes used to quickly assess a data set is the mode. The mode is simple concept, no calculations are required. The mode is simply the data point that is most prevalent in the data set. For example, in this tiny data set seven is the mode.
Here, the mode is 15. This data set has two modes, 10 and 15. How 'bout this data set? Well, since every number only appears once, this data set does not have a mode, but let's get to the big question, why do people reference the mode? Well, the idea behind the mode is that it represents the most likely outcome in a data set. Some might even think that it points to a center point in the data set, others might like to use it in conjunction with the median and mean.
Are these things true? Is a mode helpful? Well, one important thing to remember is that mode does not have a minimum frequency, in other words, in this data set the mode is four. It shows up six times in a set of 15 numbers. Here, the mode is also four, but now it shows up only two times in a set of 15 numbers. In one data set, the mode really did point to a very prevalent outcome.
In the other data set, there was no particular outcome that was likely, it just happened that four was listed twice. Let's use histograms to better understand some of the other potential pitfalls of the mode. Let's consider this data set. 60 is the mode, but is it really a very likely outcome? It's the most frequent outcome, but there are many other data points that are not equal to 60. Also, while 60 is the most frequent outcome, it is not really representative of the rest of the data.
Most exam scores in this data set are much higher. In fact, the mean and median are much higher, and perhaps this is one of the better ways to use the mode in conjunction with mean and median. Consider this data set, median 50, mean 48, mode 52. Now, let's consider this data set, median 60, mean 70, mode 80.
Here's what this might look like. As you can see, mode, median, mean, none of these on their own provide us a complete picture, but when you use mode, median, mean in a chart together you get a nice glimpse of your complete data set, and perhaps now you can start to ask the deeper question about the data set and how it might help you make better decisions.
Professor Eddie Davila covers statistics basics, like calculating averages, medians, modes, and standard deviations. He shows how to use probability and distribution curves to inform decisions, and how to detect false positives and misleading data. Each concept is covered in simple language, with detailed examples that show how statistics are used in real-world scenarios from the worlds of business, sports, education, entertainment, and more. These techniques will help you understand your data, prove theories, and save time, money, and other valuable resources—all by understanding the numbers.
- Calculate mean and median for specific data sets.
- Explain how the mode is used to assess a data set.
- Identify situations in which standard deviation can be used to investigate individual data points.
- Use mean and standard deviation to find the Z-score for a data point.
- List the three different categories of probability.
- Analyze data to determine if two events are dependent or independent.
- Predict possible outcomes for a situation using basic permutation calculations.
- Give examples of binomial random variables.