Thinking about variation

Variation is at the heart of statistics.  It’s everywhere, and without it, data are not very interesting.

Understanding this is central to the tasks we carry out in visualising, summarising and analysing data.  Our goal is to understand patterns in data.  Underlying random variation makes that challenging; we must meet this challenge in applied analytics.

In the video below, a pool player is asked to reproduce the same result repeatedly. Watch and see how difficult it is to avoid variation.