Statistics is the collection and study of large amounts of numerical data, specifically for the purpose of determining proportions, averages and other related information within data sets. Statistics are used in a variety of ways.
The Basics of Statistics
Statistics is often considered one of the most useful types of math because it is used by mathematicians in a theoretical manner and in a wide variety of real-life situations with many other professions. Statistics offer a way to collect, organize and analyze data in order to draw conclusions. Statistics is used in the fields of business, math, economics, accounting, banking, government, astronomy, and the natural and social sciences. Though it doesn't seem to have such a high importance, statistics is part of so many things in people's lives.
The Importance of Statistics
Businesses often use statistics to conduct consumer and product research. They may utilize statistics to find target demographics for their products, test the response to a certain product or service, or to determine how often something is purchased or used within certain areas or by certain demographics. Accountants use statistics to see how well a company is doing, discover trends and create projections for the next year. Bankers use statistics to estimate the number of people depositing money versus the number requesting loans. Even our government uses statistics when determining minimum wage requirements, creating policies, determining housing needs and measuring demand for food and other necessities. The importance of statistics goes far beyond math and science. Statistics offers a way for industries, businesses, governments and financial institutions to analyze important data and make inferences about that data and its relating factors.
Statistics in Daily Life
Utilizing statistics isn't just limited to professionals, government officials and mathematicians. Many individuals use statistics in their day-to-day lives. If a person is looking for a job, he or she may compare average or median salaries for a specific job or career path or look into the average time employees remain at a certain company. These averages are statistics from the job market, certain employers or the industry the person is looking to work in. Similarly, if a family is planning to move to a new area, they may research different statistics relating to that area. Looking into the median value of the homes in the area, averages relating to the schools or businesses in the area and crime rates for that neighborhood are all examples of using statistics in daily life.
Statistics in Math and Science
Statistics allow people to change the world, make money, have fun, satisfy their curiosities and so much more. Without statistics, the world would be in the dark about much of the important information people use every day. Beyond that, statistics are used to further the study of math and science. From theoretical study by mathematicians to utilizing numerical data to determine trends among animals, weather and many other areas of science, statistics have helped to drive our advancements in these fields. Statistics has even had a hand in amazing discoveries such as new vaccinations and as small as averages for foods that different animals eat.