This function is a lightweight wrapper to dplyr's summarize function. It can be used to calculate any descriptive or summary statistic for any variable in the data set. Optionally, a by grouping variable can be used, and then the summary statistics are calculated for each subgroup defined by the different values of the by variable.

describe(data, by = NULL, ...)



A data frame


A grouping variable. If included, the data will be grouped by the values of the by variable before the summary statistics are applied.


Arguments of functions applied to variables, e.g. avg = mean(x).


A tibble data frame with each row providing descriptive statistics for selected variables for each value of the grouping by variable.


describe(faithfulfaces, avg = mean(faithful), stdev = sd(faithful))
#> # A tibble: 1 × 2
#>     avg stdev
#>   <dbl> <dbl>
#> 1  5.14 0.957
describe(faithfulfaces, by = face_sex, avg = mean(faithful), stdev = sd(faithful))
#> # A tibble: 2 × 3
#>   face_sex   avg stdev
#>   <chr>    <dbl> <dbl>
#> 1 female    5.55 0.802
#> 2 male      4.75 0.932