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This question is about how to summarize moving averages.

Please assume the values in

  • column Pct are % of people how have negative opinion about vaccine.
  • column MovgAvg is the two year moving average
  • Year 2006 is the baseline.

My goal is to summarize the % of negative opinion about vaccine between years 2001-2005 and change in % negative opinion about vaccine between years 2007-2011

 Year Pct MovAvg
 2011 -97  -96.0
 2010 -95  -92.5
 2009 -90  -81.0
 2008 -72  -56.0
 2007 -40     NA
 2006  0      NA
 2005  47   59.0
 2004  71   23.0
 2003 -25   45.5
 2002 116   55.5
 2001  -5     NA

Can I just take the average of Moving Average between those two ranges (2001-2005)= average(55.5, 45,5, 23, 59) and average between (2007-2011)=average(56, 81, 92.5, 96) ?? Kindly advise. Thanks.

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1 Answer 1

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A moving average is already some kind of a summary statistic. It smooths out larger moves of the original data that could be noisy. I have 2 suggestions that might help you:

  1. Simply compare the 5-year averages before and after 2006, the two periods that you described. "The mean opinion about the vaccine went from [2001-2005 mean here] to [2007-2011 mean here].
  2. You can plot the moving average. Those chart allow you to view both the trend in the data and the noisy underlying moves of the raw data. I plotted a MA chart below. hopefully it helps.

enter image description here

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