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Aug 2, 2010

What is Statistics?

Statistics is a type of data analysis which practice includes the planning, summarizing, and interpreting of observations of a system possibly followed by predicting or forecasting of future events based on a mathematical model of the system being observed. Statistics is a branch of applied mathematics specifically in the area of statistical theory which uses probability theory in the mathematical models.

Data Collection And Statistics Provide Important Information

There are some people who absolutely live for numbers and information and just about anything else that can be compiled and analyzed, and that makes data collection and statistics a good occupation. More than just numbers data can be collected to provide important statistics to support many decisions.

One type of data collection and statistics that most people are aware of is the national census. Most of this information is gathered through personal interviews, although many citizens can fill out forms with the same information to allow the government to plan for many social programs as well as plan for the future. For example, if the census in a certain community shows the number of pre-school age children has grown dramatically, that community can start planning for more space in schools as well as teachers for the future.

Commercial uses for this information can be helpful for companies planning events such as advertising campaigns and product development. For instance if a trend appears through the data collection and statistical analysis that a certain community will have the majority of its population over the age of 70, it can plan an advertising campaign geared more towards senior citizens. Retailers can also set their product mix for seniors more towards the percentage of the older residents to meet the anticipated demographics.

Trends Revealed Through Data Analysis

There is much to be gained with data collection and statistics and those responsible for analyzing the data usually see emerging trends and can translate that information. If, for example, a trend is spotted that shows an increase of a certain ethnic population in specific geographic areas, additional studies may be prompted in an attempt to determine why that area is more attractive. Additional data may look at which areas have seen a reduction in that ethnic group and attempt to find out why the exodus is occurring.

Statistical analysis of data collected may also reveal health trends and spark reactions from national health agencies to intervene before an epidemic begins. Health statistics can also help spot increases in a particular disease and determine if it is limited to a certain ethnic group, age group or geographic area. This information may be vital in determining not just the cause, but also a possible cure.

The world of the future often depends on occurrences of the past, and the more the people know, the more they can project the future.