# Variation and Its Causes

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Variation The divergence in a set of numbers in a given data range is referred to as variation. It has common measures including variance, standard deviation and inter-quartile range that are used in measuring variation among a set of data. Causes of variation In research data analysis, evidence suggests that the main cause of data variation is measurement error, especially f the instruments used are not guaranteed to provide accurate results (Jianqing, 1991). Nonetheless, chances of errors may occur during data interpretation, recording and, or when reporting the results. These are accredited to false assumptions that the measured quantity is stable and that the variation are based on observational errors. Patterns of Variation There are various patterns representative of variation. However, a bell-shaped curve is the most widely used variation pattern and is considered the normal curve. In this curve, the highest point is indicative of the most probable occurrence. The other curve pattern is bi-modal curve, which is dual peaked. This pattern easily identifies a process with a special cause of variation and, which has undergone some changes. Variation pattern can also take the form of a skewed curve that resembles a normal curve forced to lie on its sides. This is primarily a representation of data that is not identical on both sides. Understanding Variation Variation is all around people. There are variations in the ability to undertake functions; ways of