You’re probably aware that the world is in the Information Era where you get to know a lot about what is happening as if you’re watching a movie or a soccer match on your TV screen. A great deal of this knowledge is mathematically determined by use of statistics. Statistics inform us about past trends and help to make predictions about the future- if they are correctly applied, that is.

Understanding Statistics

Statistics is a process through which analysts characterize a given set of data. If the data in question is a sample representing a large demographic, then analysts can use the results generated from the sample to make inferences about the entire population. The process of collecting, evaluating, and presenting the data mathematically is known as data analysis.

Typically, methods such as sampling are applied in statistical data collection. After collection, the data is usually analyzed using two methods: inferential and descriptive statistics. Inferential statistics methods are applied when viewing data as a subclass taken from a population. On the other hand, the descriptive methods are applied when summarizing sample data and usually involve finding the standard deviation or mean.

Importance of Statistics

The concept of statistics is important in several disciplines, including business, social sciences, psychology, and humanities. Statistics shape your life with or without your knowledge. Let’s consider the following:

1. Disaster Preparedness

Have you ever imagined about what would happen if a hurricane struck? Without proper planning in place, the magnitude of the consequences of such an occurrence would be so tremendous. Agencies responsible for disaster or emergency management rely on statistics to predict when a disaster will occur. With statistical information, they can make adequate preparations and put rescue measures in place to lessen the severity of the consequences.

2. Weather Forecasting

More often, you have seen weather forecasters on your TV screen making predictions. Have you used that information in any way? If it was broadcast that the afternoon would be rainy, you probably left your home for work with a raincoat or an umbrella. I guess you’ve also heard about the term “weather models” from these forecasters a couple of times, if not umpteen times. One thing you need to know is that the information relayed by these people is premised on statistics. These weather experts use the past and present weather conditions to foresee what the future weather will be like, and this is where statistics come handy.

3. Disease Prediction

You have, time without number, heard in the news about statistical reports on various diseases. These reports help you to gain a better understanding of how such diseases can affect you. For instance, if statistics says that 80 percepts of lung cancer cases result from cigarette smoking, it basically means that you should quit smoking for you to minimize the chances of developing the disease.

4. Product Quality Testing

Producers out there make a bulk of products for consumers. Although they (producers) must ensure that each product is of good quality and fit for human consumption, testing each product for these parameters may not be possible due to the high production rate. The antidote to this impossibility is statistics. Producers usually take a sample of their products for quality testing. If the sample passes the test, the producer works on the assumption that the whole batch is good.

5. Medical Studies

Prior to prescribing any drug, medical scientists heavily rely on statistics to determine how effective the drug is. As a matter of fact, statistics is of paramount importance as far as medical studies are concerned. Medical experts cannot afford to gamble with human life- they must be certain about the prescriptions, and this certainty is found in statistics.