What Is the Purpose of Statistics?

NYC Media Lab/CC-BY-SA 2.0

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.

Statistics are used by marketing firms, companies that delve in the financial world, researchers, manufacturing organizations and government groups. Without statistics, the numerical information collected is useless. A goal of statistics is to find meaning in the provided data and determine what variations are meaningful and which ones occur merely by chance.