Data Points: Definition & Overview

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  • 0:01 What Is a Data Point?
  • 1:11 Uses of Data Points
  • 1:42 Writing Data Points
  • 2:33 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Without data points, many of the world's financial institutions would not exist and many of our favorite businesses wouldn't be around. Learn why data points are so crucial and valuable to you and to businesses.

What Is a Data Point?

When people take surveys for statistical purposes or when the Census Bureau comes around and gets everybody's information, information from one person is one data point for them. At the end of its research or survey, the company will have gathered many bits of information from many people. One bit of information equals one data point.

If you've ever plotted points on a coordinate graph, you might remember that each one of those dots is a data point. Data points are not as apparent as the results they provide. Businesses, like your favorite clothing store, gather data points by the way people shop and when people fill out their store surveys. Each survey and each person becomes one data point for them. The collection of data points is used by the business to decide what other clothes to offer its customers.

In school, you will see data points when you are asked to graph a collection of points or a collection of data. When you perform a scientific lab, you sometimes take down test data or times of events. You are then asked to graph these points. Each test point then becomes one data point for you.

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