Statistics involves representation of information in a graphical and pictorial form. The information presented is called ‘data’, and it may be shown in the form of a table, or a chart, or a graph. These graphs, etc are then used to make an inference or a decision on the data.
Generally speaking, there are six major steps in statistics:
- Ask the question for the purpose of a study, i.e. identify the main objectives, or topics of concern
- Collection of information or data
- Organising the data
- Summarising and displaying the data graphically
- Analysing the data, and making conclusions
- Reporting the decision and findings, and addressing the objectives identified in step 1
The data can be obtained through a variety of ways – surveying and questionnaire (a surveying tool) seem the most popular. The data analysis will involve significant statistical calculations like mean, median, mode, range, standard deviation, quartiles, percentages, percentiles, etc.
The graphs could be of any type, such as ‘box-and-whisper plot’, bar graphs, column graphs, line graphs, pie charts, step graphs, etc. All these graphs help us find the relationship between two sets of data, and this relationship is called a correlation. It also helps us test some hypothesis about the data.
Statistics has widespread applications in businesses, offices, schools, and almost every walk of life.