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One of the primary measurements for data in statistics is the mean or average. The mean is often included in what are called the measures of center, numbers that represent the center of the data. Many people mistake the mean as the only measure of data that matters. While this belief is incorrect, the mean is used throughout all of statistics.

The mean is very easy to calculate. Simple add up all of the data in the list and divide by the number of items in the list. An example would help illustrate this.

Find the mean of the following data:  

1, 9, 20, 12

1. Find the sum of all the numbers

The sum is 42

2. Divide the sum by the number of data items

Divide 42 by 4 to get 10.5

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