2.0 INTRODUCTION

Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, and interpretation of data.[1][2] It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.[1]

A statistician is someone who is particularly well versed in the ways of thinking necessary for the successful application of statistical analysis. Such people have often gained this experience through working in any of a wide number of fields. There is also a discipline called mathematical statistics, which is concerned with the theoretical basis of the subject.

The word statistics, when referring to the scientific discipline, is singular, as in "Statistics is an art."[3] This should not be confused with the word statistic, referring to a quantity (such as mean or median) calculated from a set of data,[4] whose plural is statistics ("this statistic seems wrong" or "these statistics are misleading").

Statistics is a set of tools used to organize and analyze data. Data must either be numeric in origin or transformed by researchers into numbers. For instance, statistics could be used to analyze percentage scores English students receive on a grammar test: the percentage scores ranging from 0 to 100 are already in numeric form. Statistics could also be used to analyze grades on an essay by assigning numeric values to the letter grades, e.g., A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, and F=0.

Employing statistics serves two purposes, (1) description and (2) prediction. Statistics are used to describe the characteristics of groups. These characteristics are referred to as variables. Data is gathered and recorded for each variable. Descriptive statistics can then be used to reveal the distribution of the data in each variable.

Statistics is also frequently used for purposes of prediction. Prediction is based on the concept of generalizability: if enough data is compiled about a particular context (e.g., students studying writing in a specific set of...

Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, and interpretation of data.[1][2] It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.[1]

A statistician is someone who is particularly well versed in the ways of thinking necessary for the successful application of statistical analysis. Such people have often gained this experience through working in any of a wide number of fields. There is also a discipline called mathematical statistics, which is concerned with the theoretical basis of the subject.

The word statistics, when referring to the scientific discipline, is singular, as in "Statistics is an art."[3] This should not be confused with the word statistic, referring to a quantity (such as mean or median) calculated from a set of data,[4] whose plural is statistics ("this statistic seems wrong" or "these statistics are misleading").

Statistics is a set of tools used to organize and analyze data. Data must either be numeric in origin or transformed by researchers into numbers. For instance, statistics could be used to analyze percentage scores English students receive on a grammar test: the percentage scores ranging from 0 to 100 are already in numeric form. Statistics could also be used to analyze grades on an essay by assigning numeric values to the letter grades, e.g., A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, and F=0.

Employing statistics serves two purposes, (1) description and (2) prediction. Statistics are used to describe the characteristics of groups. These characteristics are referred to as variables. Data is gathered and recorded for each variable. Descriptive statistics can then be used to reveal the distribution of the data in each variable.

Statistics is also frequently used for purposes of prediction. Prediction is based on the concept of generalizability: if enough data is compiled about a particular context (e.g., students studying writing in a specific set of...