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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Statistics, 2nd Edition by Robert Donnelly

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The Importance of Data

Data is simply defined as the value assigned to a specific observation or measurement. If I’m collecting data on my wife’s snoring behavior, I can do so in different ways. I can measure how many times Debbie snores over a 10-minute period. I can measure the length of each snore in seconds. I could also measure how loud each snore is with a descriptive phrase, like “That one sounded like a bear just waking up from hibernation” or “Wow! That one sounded like an Alaskan seal calling for its young.” (How a sound like that can come from a person who can fit into a pair of size 2 jeans and still be able to breathe I’ll never know.)
 
In each case, I’m recording data on the same event in a different form. In the first case, ...

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