Statistics: Basic Concepts: What is Statistics?

Lesson 1: What is Statistics?

What is statistics?

Statistics is a branch of mathematics that allows you to collect, organize, and analyze data or information. It can be useful for things like identifying patterns, solving problems, and making decisions. 

Check out this video to learn more: 

One of the main goals of statistics is to help us clearly understand what’s happening in our environment. We might have a hunch about something, but statistics provides the numbers or hard facts which prove or disprove our ideas.

Statistics is singular when referring to the field. Statistics (plural) are numbers in a data set.

What is statistics used for?

Statistics is often used to understand groups of people’s behaviors. Governments and companies can use this data to identify patterns or trends. 

For example, Google processes millions of searches every day. It collects information on search terms and uses it to give people better results.

Another example is Netflix, the platform for streaming movies and TV shows. Netflix collects data from its users to find out what content they like. This helps them to make suggestions, and also decide what types of original content they should produce which people will like.

Statistics are used in healthcare to test out which medicines are effective, in economics to find out which products people buy, and in education to see how many students are graduating. In short, there are different fields and situations in which it is necessary to interpret large amounts of data. Otherwise, we might not know where to start!

In the next lesson, we’ll go over the key terms you need to know in order to start using statistics. As you’ll see, it’s helpful to know the basics for work, problem-solving, and everyday life.