What Is the Role of Statistics in Research?
Statistics play an important role in research of almost any kind because they deal with easily-quantified data. When working in fields such as science or medicine, trials are needed, and experimental data has to be collected and analyzed. The study of statistics enables researchers to look at a large set of data and condense it into meaningful information.
Key aspects of statistics include finding averages/means, determining outliers on either end of a bell curve, and finding the range of quantities for set points. Also, statisticians make use of representative samples with proportionate demographics to determine factors that could affect a whole population. For example, a researcher might look for the average percentage of people who buy a particular medication, then compare it to people who reported side effects after taking that medication. This would be used to determine the likelihood of suffering harmful side effects.
In addition to collecting and analyzing data, researchers use their skills in statistics and/or public speaking to present data in such a way as to elicit a specific response from the intended audience. The use of different types of charts or graphs makes the presentation of information more palatable and understandable for laypeople and professionals alike.