Empirical Rule


DEFINITION of 'Empirical Rule'

A statistical rule stating that for a normal distribution, almost all data will fall within three standard deviations of the mean. Broken down, the empirical rule shows that 68% will fall within the first standard deviation, 95% within the first two standard deviations, and 99.7% will fall within the first three standard deviations of the mean.

Also referred to as the Three Sigma Rule, or the 68-95-99.7 Rule.


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BREAKING DOWN 'Empirical Rule'

The Empirical Rule is most often used in statistics for forecasting final outcomes. After a standard deviation is calculated, and before exact data can be collected, this rule can be used as a rough estimate as to the outcome of the impending data. This probability can be used in the meantime as gathering appropriate data may be time consuming, or even impossible to obtain.

  1. Standard Deviation

    1. A measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean. ...
  2. Empirical Probability

    A form of probability that is based on some event occurring, ...
  3. Mean

    The simple mathematical average of a set of two or more numbers. ...
  4. Skewness

    Describe asymmetry from the normal distribution in a set of statistical ...
  5. Descriptive Statistics

    A set of brief descriptive coefficients that summarizes a given ...
  6. Confidence Interval

    A term used in inferential statistics that measures the probability ...
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