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Data and modeling: FAQ

Frequently asked questions about data and modeling

What is a scatter plot?

A scatter plot is a type of graph that plots two different variables against each other. We use scatter plots to see if there is a relationship between the two variables.

What do we mean by "positive" and "negative" association?

In a scatter plot, a positive association means that as one variable increases, the other variable tends to increase as well. A negative association means that as one variable increases, the other variable tends to decrease.

What are clusters and outliers?

Clusters are groups of data points that are close to each other. Outliers are data points that are far from the rest of the data. Both clusters and outliers can tell us important things about the data.

Why do we use lines of best fit?

A line of best fit is a way of summarizing the trend in a scatter plot. We draw the line so that it is as close as possible to as many of the points as possible. The line can help us make predictions about what might happen if we have new data points.

What is a two-way table?

A two-way table shows the relationship between two categorical variables. It displays the counts or percentages of observations that fall into each combination of categories. The table is arranged into rows and columns, with each row representing one category of one variable and each column representing one category of the other variable.
A two-way table allows us to see how the two variables are related by showing how many observations fall into each combination of categories.

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