In the context of this exercise, why is it helpful to know the type of distribution?
Knowing the type of distribution helps us to generally understand the data better.
Any peaks in a distribution tell us where the data is concentrated. Depending on the skew, most of the data will be concentrated on one side, and it will describe how much data is deviated from a normal distribution.
The type of distribution can also describe the potential position of the mean and median. When the graph is skew-left, the median is typically greater than the mean. When the graph is skew-right, the median is typically less than the mean.
A skewed distribution can also tell us not to depend on the mean so much, as its position is not very reliable.