Strengths & Weaknesses of Using the Range in Statistics

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Using range in statistics have a number of strengths and weaknesses that you'll need to be aware of. Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of using range in statistics with help from a mathematics educator in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Statistics 101
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, and we're here to talk about the strengths and weakness of using range in statistics. Now the formula for range is a straightforward one so that in and of itself is a strength. What you're doing simply is you're taking the highest value and you're subtracting by the lowest value. So a primary strength is that the formula is going to be pretty straightforward and it gives you an idea also as to how spread out your values are. Now those two are some examples of strengths. Now in terms of weakness the range, depending on what your data values are, may not give you a true idea as to how spread out or close the data is. So here's an illustration, suppose you have one, five, five, six, six, seven and then let's just say 100. Now the range here is 100 minus 1, the highest minus lowest which is going to be 99. So it tells you here on the surface that the data points are pretty spread out. There are 99 units between the lowest and highest but what it doesn't tell you and here is a weakness of the range is that the range won't tell you that a majority, five out of the seven data points are very very close together. So when it comes to the range it only gives you the absolute spread out highest minus lowest, but it doesn't really give you a closer picture as to how closely perhaps the data points can be close together. So some strengths are the formula is pretty easy to apply. It gives you how spread out the values are but some weaknesses are it may not tell you depending on your set of data points how closely your points can be. So, I'm Jimmy Chang, and that hopefully will address the strengths and weaknesses of range in statistics.


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