Statistics Lesson: Mode

Find the "Mode" of a set of numbers

Introduction

The mode is the most frequently occurring value in a dataset. Unlike the arithmetic mean, it is not necessarily unique (two different values could occur the same number of times).

The easiest way to understand the mode is to look at a few examples below:

Example:

What is the mode of this dataset: {3,4,5,5,5,8,8,9,14}

Solution:

The mode is 5, because there are three 5's. It shows up more than any other value in the set. It is the most commonly-occurring value in this set.

Example:

What is the mode of {-6, 2, 67, 4, 3, 9, -6, 5, 2, 0}?

Solution:

The two modes are -6 and 2, because each of those values occurs twice and nothing else occurs more often. In other words, they are "tied" for the lead and the dataset is bimodal.

The mode is simply one tool that is used to analyze a set of data to draw conclusions. Depending on what the data represent, it may be useful to know the most commonly-occurring value in the data. It may also be useful to know that there are multiples modes -- that means the data grouped around two different results.

Related Subjects: Median, Mean