What is Statistics?
Written and compiled by Ng Kwan Kee
The word “statistics” is being used in
different contexts and has different meanings.
We often come across statistics such as Gross Domestic Product,
Population, stock market indices that most of us are very familiar with. These are essentially numerical
indicators. The Department of Statistics
Another meaning of the word “statistics” that most of us are familiar with is essentially descriptive statistics such as mean, median, mode, variance and standard deviation. These are basic concepts in the field of statistics on central tendency and variability.
If we refer to “statistics” as a discipline or field of study, it can be defined as “a mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation or explanation, and presentation of data (source: Moses, Lincoln E. Think and Explain with statistics, pp. 1 - 3. Addison-Wesley, 1986). It also provides tools for prediction and forecasting based on data. It is applicable to a wide variety of academic disciplines, from the natural and social sciences to the humanities, government and business.
To get a better idea of what statistics is, perhaps browsing through the following links can help:
Statnotes (for advanced users)
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