Averages – how many types of averages are there? There are three main types of averages – the mean, the median and the mode! What do they all mean?

Mean – the most simple average. Simply add a group of data together, and divide the total by the number of individuals in the sample. Eg the mean in the group of numbers 1, 2 and 3 is 2 ((1+2+3)/3)=2)

Median – this is the middle in a group of numbers or data, so in the example above, the median would be 2. If the group of numbers were 1, 2, 3, and 4, then the median would be the numbers in the middle divided by two ie ((2+3)/2) = 2.5

Mode – this is simply the most popular figure in a group of numbers or data. So the mode would not be present in the group of numbers 1, 2, 3, 4. However, if the numbers were 1, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4 then the mode would be 3.

So, when are you likely to come across averages at work?? Well, if you’re working in a sales –based role, you may come across the following terms


“ASP or “average-selling price”

“ROS” or “Rate of Sale”

“UBW” or “Units per Branch per Week”

“base sales” – the base sales are the average sales for a given product over a period of time. Eg if a company sells 52,000 units of a product in a year, then the base weekly sales would be derived by  dividing the total volume by the number of weeks in a year ie 52,000 divided by 52, so the base weekly sales would be 1,000 units a week.

“Average Selling Price” – the ASP is the Average Selling Price, which is simply the turnover divided by volume, for a given period. So if a supermarket sold £100,000 worth of Cheese in a week, and it sold 50,000 units of the Cheese, then the Average Selling Price would be £2 ie £100,000 divided by 50,000 = £2.

ROS – this is the “rate of sale” figure. So if a company sold 100 TVs in a week, and the TV was sold in 10 different stores, then the rate of sale would be the volume divided by the number of stores divided by the number of weeks ie 100 divided by 10 divided by 1 = 10.

UBW – this is the “units per branch per week” and is the same as the “rate of sale” figure described above.