#### Overview of this book

Frequently the tool of choice for academics, R has spread deep into the private sector and can be found in the production pipelines at some of the most advanced and successful enterprises. The power and domain-specificity of R allows the user to express complex analytics easily, quickly, and succinctly. Starting with the basics of R and statistical reasoning, this book dives into advanced predictive analytics, showing how to apply those techniques to real-world data though with real-world examples. Packed with engaging problems and exercises, this book begins with a review of R and its syntax with packages like Rcpp, ggplot2, and dplyr. From there, get to grips with the fundamentals of applied statistics and build on this knowledge to perform sophisticated and powerful analytics. Solve the difficulties relating to performing data analysis in practice and find solutions to working with messy data, large data, communicating results, and facilitating reproducibility. This book is engineered to be an invaluable resource through many stages of anyone’s career as a data analyst.
Title Page
Packt Upsell
Contributors
Preface
Free Chapter
RefresheR
The Shape of Data
Describing Relationships
Probability
Using Data To Reason About The World
Testing Hypotheses
Bayesian Methods
The Bootstrap
Predicting Continuous Variables
Predicting Categorical Variables
Predicting Changes with Time
Sources of Data
Dealing with Missing Data
Dealing with Messy Data
Dealing with Large Data
Working with Popular R Packages
Reproducibility and Best Practices
Other Books You May Enjoy
Index

## The normal distribution

Do you remember in Chapter 2The Shape of Data, when we described the normal distribution and how ubiquitous it is? The behavior of many random variables in real life is very well described by a normal distribution with certain parameters.

The two parameters that uniquely specify a normal distribution are µ (mu) and σ (sigma). µ, the mean, describes where the distribution's peak is located and σ, the standard deviation, describes how wide or narrow the distribution is.

Figure 4.3: Normal distributions with different parameters

The distribution of heights of American females is approximately normally distributed with parameters µ= 65 inches and σ= 3.5 inches:

Figure 4.4: Normal distributions with different parameters

With this information, we can easily answer questions about how probable it is to choose, at random, US women of certain heights.

As mentioned earlier in Chapter 2, The Shape of Data, we can't really answer the question, What is the probability that we choose...