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How to determine the number of intervals

How to determine the number of intervals

Super Learner

I’m sorry if this question had been asked before. How to determine the number of intervals when we’re dealing with a dataset, where we have an observation that is too far away bigger than the mean?
Refer. 1st Dataset of exercice related to skewness. the width of interval is 27.4; the lower observation is 48 and the upper one is 870. 

1 Answer

365 Team

Hi Gilles,
Thanks for reaching out.
In general we are looking for a representation that has between 5 and 20 intervals. 
To determine the skewness, I usually start with a histogram with many bins (e.g. 100-1000, depending on the size of the dataset). This gives a good feel about the frequency distribution of the dataset.
Afterwards, I’d normally get the bins down to 20 and see if the general trend remains.
Overall, I try to preserve the general trend while using as few bins as possible.

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