I've been asked to analyse the distribution of a set of data, essentially a single column of random samples of a physical parameter which cannot be negative. The standard deviation that I usually calculate assumes that data are normally distributed, which in this case cannot be true.
Since I'm used to being asked to provide the standard deviation and mean of a dataset as a measure of the errors, I'd like to know whether there is an easily calculated parameter for a more appropriate distribution that would fulfil the same purpose?
I apologise if this question is ill-posed; I am not a statistician by training.
With many thanks,