The word “Statistics” which comes from the Latin word status, meaning a political state. It originally meant information useful to the state, such as information about the sizes of populations and armed forces.
The word statistics also refers to “numerical facts systematically arranged” in the first place. That’s why the word statistics is always used in plural.
To appreciate nature of statistics, it may want to know important characteristics of statistics as a subject. Some of its important characteristics are given below:
Statistics deals with patterns and trends of aggregates or large groups of data. It has nothing to do with what is happening to a particular individual or object of the aggregate.
Statistics deals with the aggregates of observations of the same kind rather than isolated figures.
No two objects in this universe are exactly alike. If they were, there would have been no statistical problem. Therefore, statistics deals with variability that obscure underlying patterns.
Statistics deals with uncertainties as every process of getting observed whether controlled or uncontrolled, involves deficiencies or chance variation. That is why we have to talk in terms of probability.
Statistics deals with those features of things which can be described numerically either by counts or by measurements.
Statistics deals with those aggregates which are subject to a number of random cause, e.g. the heights of persons are subject to a number of causes such as race, ancestry, age, diet, habits, climate and so forth.
Statistical laws are valid on the average or in the long run. There is no guarantee that a certain law will hold in all cases. Statistics inference is therefore made in the face of uncertainty.
- Statistical results might be misleading and incorrect if some mistakes are made in collecting, processing and interpreting the data.
Few Examples of Statistics in Everyday Life
- Children who play with their toys with brand XYZ toys have 60% fewer countries.
- The Bureau of census projects, the population of certain country to be 170.1 million in the year 2010.
- The prevalence of diabetes is nearly 3 times as high in over weight people as compared to normal weight people.
- In 1980 it was estimated that 0.1% of people had tried any sort of drug; where as in 2008 it was estimated that 10% had done so.