3.4 Mode and Median

Plots are the best summaries of categorical data, but you may need a more compact summary. Compact summaries are handy when you need a quick way to compare categorical variables, such as variables measured at two points in time.

The mode of a categorical variable is the most common category, the category with the highest frequency. The mode labels the longest bar in a bar chart or the widest slice in a pie chart. In a Pareto chart, the mode is the first category shown. If two or more categories tie for the highest frequency, the data are said to be bimodal (in the case of two) or multimodal (more than two). For example, among the visitors to Amazon, the modal behavior (the most common) is to type http://amazon.com into the ...

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