# What is the best representation of the distribution of data

Hi,

This is a very basic question but I totally forgot high school stuff :/

What is the best way to represent a set of random data? (random numbers)

Average? (Although this is basic, I am looking to do more calculation if possible to get the best fit)

Thanks!
LVL 13
###### Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Commented:
there is no single "best" way

the answer will depend on what you are trying to represent and what you want to do with it.
Author Commented:
ok the figures are of one year

Say the figures are
Apples     Oranges
12                     9
2                      66
232                  5258
23                    555
53                    68

I am trying to use the figures as forcaster for next year

So I have a price figure x average of apples to get revenue (but average seems not the best option IMO?)
Commented:
Standard statistics would be mean (average) and standard deviation (spread around the average).

You can do these calculations (as well as generate random numbers to test) in Excel.
Commented:
What do those numbers mean?

Numbers of apples, cost of apples, ...?

What does the series of numbers mean?  Is it a function of time?   In weeks, or months, ... ?
Author Commented:
Average                     Standard Dev
2.702068966            1.409153394

9.055578427            1.381641658

12.96546873            1.605291381

17.35004248            1.305662328

22.85169104            1.052316898

36.86032306            7.809687104

71.86956522            17.55706286

127.856833              11.12366758

Function of months (montly sales in terms of numbers sold) Should I use the average to forcast next year data? (or is there better figure I can derive - I am concerned because the numbers are so apart/deviates)

The above is the actual figures
Commented:
best fit to what?
-
What is the best way to represent a set of random data? (random numbers)"
If you are dealing with random numbers, there is no way to predict the next numbers
Author Commented:
When I say best-fit, the closest figure that better represents a month's sale of apples?
Commented:
Which month is which?  It matters.

The sales of fruit are typically seasonal, with lots of interest and activity around Fall Harvest time.

The best way to predict next years sales is to use this years sales directly , month by month.

Unless you have other information -- there was a drought or a forest fire, or an apple sauce factory started operation down the street - there is nothing else to do.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Commented:
If you have several years worth of data, you could average it month by month and maybe get a better prediction.

If the sales are changing over the course of years because of dietary trends or a growing population, you might want to do month by month linear regression.

But you really need to have real numbers.
Author Commented:
Thanks!
###### It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Math / Science

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.