Some Descriptive Statistics in R

Here, we will consider the data mtcars to get descriptive statistics in R. You can use a dataset of your own choice.

Getting Dataset Information

Before performing any descriptive or inferential statistics, it is better to get some basic information about the data. It will help to understand the mode (type) of variables in the datasets.

# attach the mtcars datasets
attach(mtcars)
# data structure
str(mtcars)

You will see the dataset mtcars contains 32 observations and 11 variables.

It is also best to inspect the first and last rows of the dataset.

# for the first six rows
head(mtcars)

# for the last six rows
tail(mtcars)

Getting Numerical Descriptive Statistics about Datasets and Variables

To get a quick overview of the dataset, the summary( ) function can also be used. We can use the summary( ) function separately for each of the variables in the dataset.

summary(mtcars)
summary(mpg)
summary(gear)
Descriptive Statistics

Note that the summary( ) the function provides five-number summary statistics (minimum, first quartile, median, third quartile, and maximum) and an average value of the variable used as the argument. Note the difference between the output of the following code.

summary(cyl)
summary( factor(cyl) )

Note that if for a certain variable, the datatype is defined or changed R will automatically choose an appropriate descriptive statistics in R. If categorical variables are defined as a factor, the summary( ) function will result in a frequency table.

Some other functions can be used instead of summary() function.

# average value
mean(mpg)
# median value
median(mpg)
# minimum value
min(mpg)
# maximum value
max(mpg)
# Quatiles, percentiles, deciles
quantile(mpg)
quantile(mpg, probs=c(10, 20, 30, 70, 90))
# variance and standard deviation
var(mpg)
sd(mpg)
# Inter-quartile range
IQR(mpg)
# Range
range(mpg)

Creating a Frequency Table

We can produce a frequency table and a relative frequency table for any categorical variable.

freq <- table(cyl); freq
rf <- prop.table(freq)
barplot(freq)
barplot(rf)
pie(freq)
pie(rf)

Creating a Contingency Table (Cross-Tabulation)

The contingency table can be used to summarize the relationship between two categorical variables. The xtab( ) or table( ) functions can be used to produce cross-tabulation (contingency table).

xtabs(~cyl + gear, data = mtcars)
table(cyl, gear)

Finding a Correlation between Variables

The cor( ) function can be used to find the degree of relationship between variables using Pearson’s method.

cor(mpg, wt)

However, if variables are heavily skewed, the non-parametric method Spearman’s correlation can be used.

cor(mpg, wt, method = "spearman")

The scatter plot can be drawn using plot( ) a function.

plot(mpg ~ wt)

Learn more about plot( ) function: plot( ) function

Visit: Learn Basic Statistics

Some Descriptive Statistics in R

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