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# What is the nature and scope of statistics?

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Statistics, according to About.com, is the study of numerical information called data. Statisticians acquire, study and formulate conclusions based on data they collect using any of several different methods.

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In the field of statistics, a small portion of a large group is used to formulate conclusions about the entire group. The smaller portion is the sample size, and the entire group is referred to as the population. An assumption about a population of millions of people may be derived from a sample size of a few thousand people.

Acquiring data is dependent on the method of collection. The collection of data can be random or clustered, depending on the nature of the survey. The methods used to collect the data are important to the statisticians making conclusions from the final tallies. Whether the questionnaire allows people to submit their own answers or researchers obtain the data themselves, the method factors into the final conclusion.

Organization of data is the visualization of all the varying answers through the use of charts and graphs. These visual aids help to organize the data in a clear manner.

The analysis of data is called descriptive statistics. The mean is the average of the data collected. The range shows how spread out the data is.

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## Related Questions

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Sampling, in statistics, is a method of answering questions that deal with large numbers of individuals by selecting a smaller subset of the population for study. One of the most prevalent types of sampling is random sampling.

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The purpose of statistics is to allow sets of data to be compared so that analysts can look for meaningful trends and changes. Analysts review the data so that they can reach conclusions regarding its meaning. Statistics allow people to see how things are or are not correlated and how a change in one variable might affect another.

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Descriptive statistics are statistics that describe the central tendency of the data, such as mean, median and mode averages. Variance in data, also known as a dispersion of the set of values, is another example of a descriptive statistics. Greater variance occurs when scores are more spread out from the mean. Descriptive statistics summarize data.