Descriptive Statistics

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Descriptive Statistics'

A set of brief descriptive coefficients that summarizes a given data set, which can either be a representation of the entire population or a sample. The measures used to describe the data set are measures of central tendency and measures of variability or dispersion.

BREAKING DOWN 'Descriptive Statistics'

Measures of central tendency include the mean, median and mode, while measures of variability include the standard deviation (or variance), the minimum and maximum variables, kurtosis and skewness.

Descriptive statistics provide a useful summary of security returns when performing empirical and analytical analysis, as they provide a historical account of return behavior. Although past information is useful in any analysis, one should always consider the expectations of future events.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Variance

    The spread between numbers in a data set, measuring Variance ...
  2. Chi Square Statistic

    A measurement of how expectations compare to results. The data ...
  3. Statistical Significance

    A result that is not likely to occur randomly, but rather is ...
  4. Skewness

    Describe asymmetry from the normal distribution in a set of statistical ...
  5. Coefficient Of Variation - CV

    A statistical measure of the dispersion of data points in a data ...
  6. Kurtosis

    A statistical measure used to describe the distribution of observed ...
Related Articles
  1. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Find The Highest Returns With The Sharpe Ratio

    Learn how to follow the efficient frontier to increase your chances of successful investing.
  2. Markets

    Introduction To Fundamental Analysis

    Learn this easy-to-understand technique of analyzing a company's financial statements and reports.
  3. Economics

    The Problem With Today’s Headline Economic Data

    Headwinds have kept the U.S. growth more moderate than in the past–including leverage levels and an aging population—and the latest GDP revisions prove it.
  4. Economics

    Explaining the Participation Rate

    The participation rate is the percentage of civilians who are either employed or unemployed and looking for a job.
  5. Fundamental Analysis

    Is India the Next Emerging Markets Superstar?

    With a shift towards manufacturing and services, India could be the next emerging market superstar. Here, we provide a detailed breakdown of its GDP.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Guggenheim Enhanced Short Dur

    Find out about the Guggenheim Enhanced Short Duration ETF, and learn detailed information about this fund that focuses on fixed-income securities.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Morningstar Small-Cap Value

    Find out about the Shares Morningstar Small-Cap Value ETF, and learn detailed information about this exchange-traded fund that focuses on small-cap equities.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social

    Find out about the iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social exchange-traded fund, and learn detailed information about its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Agency Bond

    Find out about the iShares Agency Bond exchange-traded fund, and explore detailed analysis of the ETF that tracks U.S. government agency securities.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum

    Find out about the PowerShares DWA SmallCap Momentum Portfolio ETF, and explore detailed analysis the fund's characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some of the more common types of regressions investors can use?

    The most common types of regression an investor can use are linear regressions and multiple linear regressions. Regressions ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What types of assets lower portfolio variance?

    Assets that have a negative correlation with each other reduce portfolio variance. Variance is one measure of the volatility ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. When is it better to use systematic over simple random sampling?

    Under simple random sampling, a sample of items is chosen randomly from a population, and each item has an equal probability ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are some common financial sampling methods?

    There are two areas in finance where sampling is very important: hypothesis testing and auditing. The type of sampling methods ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  2. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  3. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  4. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
  5. Gorilla

    A company that dominates an industry without having a complete monopoly. A gorilla firm has large control of the pricing ...
  6. Elephants

    Slang for large institutions that have the funds to make high volumes trades. Due to the large volumes of stock that elephants ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!