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The process of exploratory data analysis consist of easy arithmetic and simple graphs that can be used to encapsulate data quickly. One process-described as a stem-and-leaf display can be used to show the rank order and shape of a data set simultaneously.

The stem and leaf display is very simple and can be made by hand. In the given range, the stem and leaf display deliver more detailing than a histogram because the stem and leaf presents the actual data.

For example, consider the following data

1565 1852 1644 1766 1888 1912 2044 1812 1790 1679 2008 1852 1967 1954 1733

A stem and leaf display of these data follows

Leaf unit = 10

15 | 6

16 | 4 7

17 | 3 6 9

18 | 1 5 5 8

19 | 1 5 6

20 | 0 4

Record that a single digit is used to define each leaf and then only the first three digits of each data value have been used to create the display. At the top of the display it is specified as leaf unit=10. To illustrate how to interpret the values in the display consider the first stem 15, and its associated leaf, 6.Combining these numbers we obtain 156.To recreate an approximation of the original data value, we must multiply this number by 10, the value of leaf unit. Thus 156*10 =1560 is an approximation of the original data value used to create the stem and leaf display.

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