In statistics, you will learn many new terms, some of which do not match their common meanings. Also, remember that mastering these terms constitutes the most difficult aspect of the subject. We will begin each topic with a general introduction, which may be hard to understand at first. When we present the examples, however, it will all begin to make more sense. Statistics can be learned only through examples.Finally, although statistics is not a difficult subject, it requires a lot of practice.
Introduction to Statistics – Definition and Role
Statistics is designed to help us organize “heaps” of crude data obtained from various sources. The order and organization that statistics provides usually enables us to learn something useful from the data.
Measurements – Examples and Purposes
The term “measurements” refers to (for example):
Measurements of the heights of children in first grade.
Measurements of the weight of fish in Lake Michigan.
Measurements of matriculation grades in mathematics.
Measurements of the profits yielded by shares during a particular period.
Additional examples will be discussed later.
Statistics – Quantitative Data into Information
In the current communications era, we have access to infinite quantities of data. These huge quantities of data are worthless if they are not arranged and organized in a way that gives them meaning. If data is arranged in a way that makes it meaningful, then it is known as information. Obtaining information is not the final step in the process since we must then convert the information into knowledge. Knowledge reflects the results of analyzing the information, i.e., making it relevant to us so that we can use it for our benefit to achieve our goals.
One of the strongest and most useful tools in this process of turning data into information, and conversely information into knowledge, is Statistics.