What is the key difference between Mean, Median and Mode?

If you can tell the difference between good advice and bad advice, you do not need advice: Lawrence J Peter


There can be differences in thoughts, opinions, procedures, or parameters. By understanding the differences, one can able to comprehend them better and can take decisions judiciously. Having conflict in the workplace and productive disagreements—an essential component of effective communication—could be central to your workplace happiness and overall team productivity. 


In SPC, there are few basic but very important parameters like Mean, Median, and Mode, whose understanding is very important. For variable and attribute study, Mean is an important parameter for analyzing the performance of the process/product wrt to control limits.  


Mean: is average of a data set is found by adding all numbers in the data set and then dividing by the number of values in the set.

Median: is the middle value when a data set is ordered from least to greatest. 

Mode: is the number that occurs most often in a data set. 

Detailed Information

The basic understanding of difference Mean, Median, and Mode is important so that you can effectively understand its meaning while conducting the statistical studies.

Statistically, we measure, central tendency or location of the center by  

– Mean or Average

– Median

– Mode

Following are some of the key difference between Mean, Median, and Mode:

1 The average was taken for a set of numbers is called a mean. The middle value in the data set is called Median. The number that occurs the most in a given list of numbers is called a mode.
2 Add all of the numbers together and divide this sum of all numbers by a total number of numbers. Place all the given numbers in an ascending or descending order It shows the frequency of occurrence.
3 The result is the mean or average score. The next step is to find the middle number on the list. It is called the median. In geometry, it is defined as the center or midpoint of a polygon.  We can have more than one mode or no mode at all.   If there is no repeated number in a given series then no Mode will exist for that series.
4 Example: To find the average of the four numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, we need to add the number first.

  1. 2 + 4 + 6+ 8 = 20
  2. Divide the sum by the total number of numbers, i. e 4.
  3. 20/4 = 5 is the average or mean


Example: If the given list is 4, 2, 8, 10, 19.

  1. Arrange the numbers in ascending/decending order i .e 2, 4, 8, 10, 19.
  2. As the total numbers are 5, so the middle number 8 is the median here.


Example: In the given series 3,3,5,6,7,7,8,1,1,1,4,5,6

  1. Find the frequency of each number.
  2. For number 3 it’s 2, for 5 it’s 2, for 6 it’s 2, for 7 it’s 2, for 8 it’s one, for 1 it’s 3, for 4 it’s 1.
  3. The number with the highest frequency is the mode.


Present Challenges:

  1. How often we are clear about the difference between Mean, Median, and Mode?
  2. How often we are clear about its formula rather than only the output?


IATF 16949: 2016

SPC Manual (AIAG) 2nd Edition

Industry Experts


This is the 111th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

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Kishan chaudhry
Kishan chaudhry
4 months ago

Thankiu so much sir