Sign In
Learn practical skills, build real-world projects, and advance your career

Statistical Distributions Data Scientists Must Know

7 Types of Statistical Distributions Data Scientists Must Know

Different probability and statistical distributions serve as the fundamental building blocks of numerous applications, including weather forecasting, stock market analysis, and many more. Understanding the fundamentals of probability theory in general and the most popular statistical distributions in particular is a prerequisite if you want to make it big in the field of data science. A solid understanding of statistical distribution makes exploring new datasets and identifying patterns much easier. This blog will walk you through the seven most important types of statistical distributions that every data scientist must know about.


1. Uniform Distribution

The outcomes of a random variable with a uniform distribution are equally likely to occur. The results can be continuous, like the time it takes for a bus to arrive, or discrete, like the results of throwing a die. Thus, depending on the random variable, a uniform distribution may be discrete or continuous. The function U(a, b), where a denotes the starting value and b denotes the ending value, is used to depict a uniform distribution. The disadvantages of this distribution include the fact that it often gives you no relevant data.

2. Poisson Distribution

The poisson distribution describes how frequently an event takes place over a given period of time. The poisson distribution requires the frequency with which an event occurs over a given time period or distance rather than its likelihood. The number of shoppers entering a store in an hour, the volume of phone calls a business receives daily, etc. can all be presented using the poisson distribution. A Poisson process is denoted by the notation Po(λ), where λ stands for the probable number of events that may occur within a period. A Poisson process's expected value and variance are expressed as lambda (λ).

3. Binomial Distribution

A discrete distribution known as the binomial distribution characterizes the random variable x as the number of 'n' successful Bernoulli trials. As a result, binary outcome events are addressed by the binomial distribution, and the likelihood of success and failure is the same across all iterations. B (n, p), where n is the number of trials and p is the likelihood that any given trial will be successful, denotes a binomial distribution.

4. Bernoulli Distribution

The Bernoulli Distribution defines a probabilistic event that occurs just once and has just two alternative outcomes. Those two possibilities are commonly referred to as Success, or 1, and Failure, or 0. To create more complex distributions, one can start with the Bernoulli distribution. Examples of a Bernoulli distribution include flipping a coin or answering "True" or "False" in a quiz.

5. Normal (Gaussian) Distribution

The most common discrete distribution is the normal (Gaussian) distribution. In a graph with a normal distribution, data are evenly distributed and symmetrical. When the data is plotted, it takes the form of a bell, with the majority of values clustered in a central area and decreasing in size as they move outward from the center. The standard deviation, which is a measure of symmetric variation around the average, is another feature of the normal distribution. The normal distribution formula is N(µ, σ2), where µ stands for the mean and σ2 stands for the variance, one of which is usually given.

6. Exponential Distribution

One of the most commonly used continuous distributions is the exponential distribution. The Poisson distribution and the exponential distribution have certain similarities. The exponential distribution defines the amount of time between events, while the Poisson distribution describes the number of events per unit of time. The exponential distribution is generally expressed as Exp(λ), where λ is the distribution parameter, also known as the rate parameter. By using the equation = 1/μ, where μ is the mean, you can get the value of λ.

7. Gamma Distribution

The Gamma distribution deals with continuous variables, such as call times, that can have a large range of values. The exponential, Erlang, and chi-square distributions are all variations of the Gamma distribution. It defines the duration of waiting for a set number of events, not the interval between occurrences. It requires two parameters: the exponential distribution's lambda parameter and the number of events to wait for (k).

One of the best ways to gain a fundamental understanding of statistical theory is to implement it in real-world situations. Get your hands on some unique data science projects from platforms like Github, and master your knowledge of statistics in no time!

Liked this article? Join our WhatsApp community for resources & career advice:

Daivi Sarkar9 months ago