A data hygiene habit – asking for the median

A simple habit that helps us better understand the data we’re presented – whenever we’re presented with averages, ask to see the median as well.

Imagine we had the following data on the amount of time 5 users spent on our product to get something done- 1 min, 1 min, 1 min, 1 min, 100 mins.

The median time spent would be 1 min. The average time spent would be 20.8 minutes.

While it might still be useful to understand what is driving the outlier, extreme datapoints sway the average. Medians, on the other hand, give a true picture of the distribution.