say I run a command that outputs space separated values over lines. Some of which are numbers. Is there a utility I can use to calculate the mean, median, standard deviation of these numbers? something like 'cut' but that outputs these statistics.
Check out st: https://github.com/nferraz/st or sta (recommended): https://github.com/simonccarter/sta
From GitHub:
sta
Simple statistics from the command line interface (CLI), fast. Description
This is a lightweight, fast tool for calculating basic descriptive statistics from the command line. Inspired by https://github.com/nferraz/st, this project differs in that it is written in C++, allowing for faster computation of statistics given larger nontrivial data sets.
Additions include the choice of biased vs unbiased estimators and the option to use the compensated variant algorithm.
Given a file of 1,000,000 ascending numbers, a simple test on a 2.5GHz dualcore MacBook using Bash time showed sta takes less than a second to complete, compared to 14 seconds using st.
You might also consider using clistats. It is a highly configurable command line interface tool to compute statistics for a stream of delimited input numbers.
I/O options
 Input data can be from a file, standard input, or a pipe
 Output can be written to a file, standard output, or a pipe
 Output uses headers that start with "#" to enable piping to gnuplot
Parsing options
 Signal, endoffile, or blank line based detection to stop processing
 Comment and delimiter character can be set
 Columns can be filtered out from processing
 Rows can be filtered out from processing based on numeric constraint
 Rows can be filtered out from processing based on string constraint
 Initial header rows can be skipped
 Fixed number of rows can be processed
 Duplicate delimiters can be ignored
 Rows can be reshaped into columns
 Strictly enforce that only rows of the same size are processed
 A row containing column titles can be used to title output statistics
Statistics options
 Summary statistics (Count, Minimum, Mean, Maximum, Standard deviation)
 Covariance
 Correlation
 Least squares offset
 Least squares slope
 Histogram
 Raw data after filtering
NOTE: I'm the author.

2If you recommended a product, you must disclose your affiliation with the product in your answers. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/57497/… – masegaloeh Jul 16 '14 at 2:48

I've updated the post. However, it's not that hard to figure out I'm the author. I used the same account names so folks could figure it out. Clearly, you did. – dpmcmlxxvi Jul 18 '14 at 0:01
The R language would be perfect for this. It runs in the terminal, its free and probably the most popular statistics languages out there. So, it has tons of documentation on how to do neat things, including the ones you are asking for.
awk
would be my choice for the basic functions, although the stddev function may be missing. – ewwhite Oct 24 '13 at 12:15