# Statistical Advisor, How to Calculate Simple Descriptive Statistics/Distributions

Use one of the following:

## Basic Statistics

Basic Statistics methods are used to compute the mean, standard deviation, variance, skewness, and kurtosis of variables. The mean is a measure of the average or central tendency of a continuous distribution. The standard deviation and variance are measures of dispersion, that is, the variability of data. The skewness is a measure of the 'sidedness' of the distribution, that is, the extent to which the distribution of data points is skewed towards the left or right side of the mean. The kurtosis is a measure of 'pointedness' or 'peakedness' of the distribution, that is, the extent to which the distribution is spread or centered closely around the mean. *Basic Statistics* methods allow you to compute frequency distribution tables, and to visualize distributions in histograms. After the descriptive statistics have been computed, you may want to plot the distribution of variables.

## Graphical Analytic Techniques

Graphical Analytic Techniques include a wide range of descriptive graphs such as histograms, pie-charts, or 3D histograms, as well as numerous specialized graphs for describing data (e.g., Chernoff faces, star, sun ray plots, etc.).