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Variance of a Data Set

The mean of the squares of the deviation of data values

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absolute deviation

The absolute deviation is the sum total of how different each number is from the mean.


Deviation is a measure of the difference between a given value and the mean.


The mean of a data set is the average of the data set. The mean is found by calculating the sum of the values in the data set and then dividing by the number of values in the data set.

mean absolute deviation

The mean absolute deviation is an alternate measure of how spread out the data is. It involves finding the mean of the distance between each data value and the mean. While this method might seem more intuitive, in statistics it has been found to be too limited and is not commonly used.


In statistics, the population is the entire group of interest from which the sample is drawn.


A sample is a specified part of a population, intended to represent the population as a whole.


To skew a given set means to cause the trend of data to favor one end or the other

standard deviation

The square root of the variance is the standard deviation. Standard deviation is one way to measure the spread of a set of data.


A measure of the spread of the data set equal to the mean of the squared variations of each data value from the mean of the data set.

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