What is The Mode?
What is the Mode? Is a question that is asked frequently, so what is the mode?
The ‘mode’ is a key word in math that is mentioned in the same breath as that of mean and median. Of this triumvirate of terms involved in data analysis, the task of finding the ‘mode’ of a given sample set of values is perhaps the easiest of them all. So, that translates, favorably, into less time that needs to be devoted to understand ‘what is the mode?’
Without any much further ado, let us begin our task. In simple English, a ‘mode’ is the value that occurs most frequently in a sample set of values. I promised you that it will be very easy, didn’t I? See, I kept my promise. I am pretty sure that you would probably agree with me on that fact.
Now, let us say we have a sample set containing 2, 2, 6, 4, 9, 0, 2 and 4. Though you might be tempted to count the occurrences of the numbers as such, it is always wise and advisable to sort the numbers in an ascending order. Once we have arrived with the sorted list of 0, 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, 6 and 9, our task becomes even simpler. The mode is obviously 2. And, it also prevents us from overlooking the obvious and from making other humane errors.
Let us look at another example. This time, let the sample data be 2, 4, 2, 5, 4 and 6. As you might have very well spotted, this data set contains two occurrences of both 2 and 4. In that case, the data set will contain two modes and will be termed as ‘bimodal’. Similarly, the data sets that are in the possession of more than two modes are known as ‘multimodal’. Another situation might arise in which there are no values that occur predominantly. In those cases, we say that the sample set does not have any mode.
Though the concept behind mode might look too simplistic and insignificant at first look, it is actually not so. It plays a crucial and vital role in dealing with categorical data. For example, in a footwear shop, the most sought after shoes will be the mode. And, that would serve as an indicator to the shopkeepers to manufacture more of that.