The five-number summary is a set of descriptive statistics that provides information about a dataset. It consists of the five most important sample percentiles:
the sample minimum (smallest observation)
the lower quartile or first quartile
the median (the middle value)
the upper quartile or third quartile
the sample maximum (largest observation)
In addition to the median of a single set of data there are two related statistics called the upper and lower quartiles. If data are placed in order, then the lower quartile is central to the lower half of the data and the upper quartile is central to the upper half of the data. These quartiles are used to calculate the interquartile range, which helps to describe the spread of the data, and determine whether or not any data points are outliers.
In order for these statistics to exist the observations must be from a univariate variable that can be measured on an ordinal, interval or ratio scale.
Use and representation