What the heck is a coefficient of variation?

Statistics is probably one of the most important tools you will use in your research career. Stats have the ability to turn your seemingly beautiful data into a pile of useless junk, or to convert questionable data into an award winning publication.

Like many molecular biologists, I am statistically challenged. I’ve tried and tried again to learn the meaning behind important terms such a “p-value,” “ANOVA test” and “correlation coefficient” all to no avail. I am a stats flunkie. When I asked my supervisor about my learning disability he told me that I am a molecular biologist and that really there is not hope.

The best we can shoot for is p<0.05 and call it significant.

For many years, I was resigned to the fact that I’d never understand stats and that’s why the position of in-house statistician existed. To help, (if not to make fun of), people like me. Fortunately, there is new hope. Bio-Rad Laboratories has now produced a series of video tutorials geared towards helping those who have less fortunate statistical skills.

In the video below, Bio-Rad experts explain how to calculate a coefficient of variation. I found the video to be pretty clear and it has somewhat clarified this murky term for me. What about you?


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