Why standardize variables?

Many researchers have noted the importance of standardizing variables for multivariate analysis. Otherwise, variables measured at different scales do not contribute equally to the analysis. For example, in boundary detection, a variable that ranges between 0 and 100 will outweigh a variable that ranges between 0 and 1. Using these variables without standardization in effect gives the variable with the larger range a weight of 100 in the analysis. Transforming the data to comparable scales can prevent this problem. Typical data standardization procedures equalize the range and/or data variability.


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