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1. What is Statistics?

➢ Statistics is a branch of mathematics dealing with the collection, organization, analysis,


interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to, for example, a scientific,
industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin with a statistical population or a
statistical model process to be studied. Populations can be diverse topics such as "all people
living in a country" or "every atom composing a crystal". Statistics deals with all aspects of data
including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveysand experiments.

2. What are the different branches of Statistics?


➢ Descriptive Statistics. Descriptive statistics deals with the presentation and collection of data.
This is usually the first part of a statistical analysis. It is usually not as simple as it sounds, and
the statistician needs to be aware of designing experiments, choosing the right focus group and
avoid biases that are so easy to creep into the experiment.

Different areas of study require different kinds of analysis using descriptive statistics. For
example, a physicist studying turbulence in the laboratory needs the average quantities that
vary over small intervals of time. The nature of this problem requires that physical quantities be
averaged from a host of data collected through the experiment.

➢ Inferential Statistics. Inferential statistics, as the name suggests, involves drawing the right
conclusions from the statistical analysis that has been performed using descriptive statistics. In
the end, it is the inferences that make studies important and this aspect is dealt with in
inferential statistics.

Most predictions of the future and generalizations about a population by studying a smaller
sample come under the purview of inferential statistics. Most social sciences experiments deal
with studying a small sample population that helps determine how the population in general
behaves. By designing the right experiment, the researcher is able to draw conclusions relevant
to his study.

While drawing conclusions, one needs to be very careful so as not to draw the wrong or biased
conclusions. Even though this appears like a science, there are ways in which one can
manipulate studies and results through various means. For example, data dredging is
increasingly becoming a problem as computers hold loads of information and it is easy, either
intentionally or unintentionally, to use the wrong inferential methods.

3. What are the importance of studying statistics?


➢ Statistics and Economics:
Statistics is an integral part of economics. Prof. Alfred Marshall, the renowned economist, in the
year 1890, opined, "Statistics are the straw out of which I, like every other economist have to
make bricks". This opinion of Dr. Marshall signifies the importance of statistics in economics.
In fact, every sphere of economics takes support of statistics to prove various economic theories
in it. For instance, in the field of production statistics helps us to adjust the demand according to
supply.

Again, it is through statistical technique that a producer decides the level of maximum profit on
the basis of data relating to cost and revenue of his product. Similar is true about consumption,
distribution and planning where statistics plays an unavoidable role to realize the results.

➢ Statistics and Business:


Statistics is extremely useful in modern activities of business. Business is full of risks and
uncertainties. According to Boddington, "A successful businessman is one whose estimates most
closely approach accuracy". Every success in business depends on precision in forecasting.

Thus, a businessman must make a proper analysis of the past records to forecast the future
business conditions. Moreover, every business man has to make use of the statistical tools to
estimate the trend of prices and of economic activities. In short, business involves risk and when
there is risk, it is better to have a calculated risk.

➢ Statistics and State:


Statistics are the eyes of state as they help in administration. In the ancient times, the ruling
kings and chiefs have to rely heavily on statistics to frame suitable military and fiscal policies.
Similarly, modern states make tremendous use of statistical tools on various problems.

Before, implementing any policy, a state has to examine its pros and cons. For instance, before
suggesting any remedial measures of the evil of crime, the state requires to make a deep
statistical investigation of the problem.

Similarly, state conducts the population census to estimate the figures of national income and
the prosperity of the country. In this way, state is the most single unit which not only collects
the largest amount of statistics but also needs statistics on a very extensive scale.

➢ Statistics and Economic Planning:


Modern age is the age of planning and without statistics planning is inconceivable. The days of
laissez faire had gone and state intervention in every walk of life has become universal in
character. Our future depends on proper planning. Thus, planning is only successful on accurate
analysis of complex statistical data.

In India, the various plans that have been prepared or implemented, planners have made use of
statistical data. Moreover, in our country, National Sample Survey Scheme was introduced to
collect the statistical data for the use of planning. Statistical apparatus are employed not only to
construct the plans but the success of every plan is judged by the use of statistical tools.

➢ Statistics and other Activities:


Besides some important fields as discussed above, statistical tools are of great use to bankers,
insurance companies, brokers, social workers, politicians, trade associations, chambers of
commerce, research, astronomers, generally, take a large number of measurements, and in
most cases there exists some difference between several observations.

Thus, to make the best possible measurement they have to employ the technique of law of
errors in the form of the method of least square. Similarly, politicians and their supporters by
sampling few voters prior to election can work out the percentage of votes the candidate will
receive in the election.

Thus, statistical knowledge in fact is essential for a goods citizen. H.G. Wells has very aptly
pointed out that, "Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the
ability to read and write".

➢ Importance in Defense and War:


Statistical tools are very useful in the fields of defense and war because it helps to compare the
military strength of different countries in terms of man power, tanks, war-aeroplanes, missiles
etc. Moreover, it helps in planning future military strategy of the country. It helps to estimate
the loss due to war. It helps to arrange the war finance.

➢ Importance in Research:
Statistical techniques are of immense use in any research enquiry. In the field of industry and
commerce, researches are made to fin out the causes of variations of different products.

Similarly, various market research is made with the help of statistical techniques. Even in literary
field, various researches are made in which various types of statistical data are used.

➢ Importance in Physical Sciences:


In the sphere of physical science like physics, chemistry, botany etc. a large number of
measurements are taken which are found to vary from actual results.

Thus, to have an idea about the degree of accuracy maintained, statistical techniques are used
together with the powerful tools of sampling, estimation, design of experiments etc.

➢ Importance in Social Sciences:


In social sciences like sociology, psychology, education, economics, commerce, history etc.
statistical techniques are frequently used in variety of problems. According to Bowley, "Statistics
is the science measurement of social organism regarded as a whole in all its manifestations'

4. What are the different kinds of data?


➢ Categorical Data. Categorical data represents characteristics. Therefore, it can represent things
like a person’s gender, language etc. Categorical data can also take on numerical values
(Example: 1 for female and 0 for male). Note that those numbers don’t have mathematical
meaning
● Nominal Data. Nominal values represent discrete units and are used to label variables, that have
no quantitative value. Just think of them as "labels". Note that nominal data that has no order.
Therefore, if you would change the order of its values, the meaning would not change.

● Ordinal Data. Ordinal values represent discrete and ordered units. It is therefore nearly the
same as nominal data, except that it’s ordering matters.

➢ Numerical Data
● Discrete Data. We speak of discrete data if its values are distinct and separate. In other words:
We speak of discrete data if the data can only take on certain values. This type of data can’t be
measured but it can be counted. It basically represents information that can be categorized into
a classification. An example is the number of heads in 100 coin flips.

You can check by asking the following two questions whether you are dealing with discrete data
or not: Can you count it and can it be divided up into smaller and smaller parts? On the contrary,
if the data could be measured but not counted, we would speak of continuous data

● Continuous Data represents measurements and therefore their values can’t be counted but they
can be measured. An example would be the height of a person. You can only describe them by
using intervals on the real number line.

● Interval Data. Interval values represent ordered units that have the same difference. Therefore,
we speak of interval data when we have a variable that contains numeric values that are
ordered and where we know the exact differences between the values.

The problem with interval values data is that they don’t have a „true zero“. That means in
regards to our example, that there is no such thing as no temperature. With interval data, we
can add and subtract, but we cannot multiply, divide or calculate ratios. Because there is no true
zero, a lot of descriptive and inferential statistics can’t be applied.
● Ratio Data. Ratio values are ordered units with intermediate values. Ratio values are the same
as interval values, with the difference that they do have an absolute zero. Good examples are
height, weight, length etc.

5. What are the different ways in presenting data?


The main portion of Statistics is the display of summarized data. Data is initially collected from a
given source, whether they are experiments, surveys, or observation, and is presented in one of
four methods:
➢ Textual Method. The reader acquires information through reading the gathered data.
➢ Tabular Method. Provides a more precise, systematic and orderly presentation of data in rows
or columns.
➢ Semi-tabular Method. Uses both textual and tabular methods.
➢ Graphical Method. The utilization of graphs is most effective method of visually presenting
statistical results or findings.