Statistics is a branch of mathematics that deals with understanding, analysing, and plotting data points to create meaningful insights. It is an extremely valuable tool in the modern world. All industries—from businesses, to education, to politics—use statistics to create strategies to help with future endeavours. We will look into the depth of What is Statistics?
What is statistics?
The world is a carefully constructed piece of probability. All activities of our daily lives can be associated closely with the flipping of a coin. If that is the way the world works, some people must find the odds of how likely an event is to occur. This is the science that statistical inference deals with.
Thus, statistics help put a more pictorial representation of the events set to unfold in the future. The majority of businesses worldwide rely heavily on looking at trends and opportunities from statistical formulas. This help devises ways to plot data points from different factors and provide a clear understanding and analysis of how the data affects the business in the future.
Statistics are not only of one type. Based on their use case or their analysis, statistical inference can be categorised into two types:
This type of statistic is defined as collecting, storing, and plotting the data points received on a particular topic. The most common use of descriptive statistics is businesses’ financial books. This form of statistics helps these companies keep a record of all the transactions covered and allows companies to track the payments based on their form, type and/or status.
Descriptive statistics are generally aided by using tools such as tables, graphs, plots, etc. This helps statisticians dump the data into a single place after which work on the analysis can begin.
Often descriptive and inferential statistics work in tandem. While descriptive is a type of statistics that deals with data collection, inferential statistics is used to create meaning out of the data.
More often than not, when you receive a data entry, all may look jumbled. Keeping track of good statistical information is a tedious task and not something a small company would pay heavy attention to. However, this should not be the case. Statistical inference not only helps you see the trends earlier than they are emerging, but it also provides a safety net for the information in case of disasters.
Difference between Inferential and Descriptive Statistics
While both may work hand in hand often, both types of statistics are completely different. The biggest differentiating factor between the two is in the way both types collect and store data.
The complete data set is transferred onto the sheet to make calculated judgements in descriptive statistics. Since all the data collected is present in one defined area, statisticians have an easier path in analysing it and inferring important points from the research. One common example that can be used for descriptive statistics is the record of school student marks,
Whereas not all the data is present for analysis in inferential statistics. This means that people dealing with the data are expected to pick out a data set sample. This sample has to be carefully selected and be free from any bias. After this, the sample is extrapolated and used to understand trends and future insights.
The most common example is how businesses use inferential statistics to predict a forecast of their business growth. The finance team creates the document, which has a lot of projections—annual income, profits, losses, new employees, growth, decline—which are all predicted using inferential statistics.
With an increasingly digital world, data is the new gold. This data helps us make all sorts of decisions in life, from insurance coverage to our vacation days. So, let us look at why statistics is important in our daily lives:
Statistical inference helps make random activities a lot more meaningful. They help put a random assortment of data points into credible pieces of information. After which, this data can provide crucial information.
Statistical mechanics are used in almost all walks of life. Be it your school identifying the highest grade student or your family trying to budget for the next family vacation. Statistics formulas help different people in different fields analyse sets of data.
While giving a presentation, would you want your slides to be full of elaborative pictures or leave them just filled with text? The answer tells you why statistics are important. They help people visualise the data simply numbers on an excel sheet. This helps us make a better understanding of the data and eases the tedious process of statistical inference.
Use cases for statistics
Till now, I’ve taken you around a few of the different industries that have used and benefited from using statistics formulas in their daily functioning. To provide a little more weight to the argument, here are some of the most widely used ways statistics help analysis of information:
Ever want to plan a weekend trip, but it got cancelled because of the heavy rains? Statistics can help you plan your trips better. By mapping different seasonal changes in the skies, meteorologists worldwide use statistical inference to better predict the state of the weather in the upcoming days.
One of the major ways political parties decide on their constituencies and their candidates is by using statistics. These parties devise statistical formulas to track the success and fame of the party in different parts of the country. All of this makes the process of choosing the voter bank extremely simple.
Additionally, media channels use statistical inference to predict the winners in their exit polls once the polling is done. After interviewing different voters, media houses start keeping track of all their responses and then corroborate them with the seats won by the party.
Brands and businesses make millions of products every year. Such high volumes make it impossible to test the success of each of the products. Thus, make-up companies use statistical inference to select a sample of products and test that batch for quality control.
The stock market has always been a game of numbers. Statistical inference is always at use here. Businesses hire agents to purchase and sell stocks based on statistical mechanics and their trends. This is with the help of plotting a particular company’s performance to identify new leads and opportunities.
While the COVID-19 pandemic created immense problems in everyone’s lives, the lesson is that we did not plot the data in a more alarm proof way. However, while it can be categorised as an error, several cyclones and tornadoes can be prevented thanks to good statistical inference.
As we witnessed the COVID-19 vaccine distribution drive, we also witnessed how the vaccine was created. Similar to the ways used by makeup companies in quality control, medicine and drug trials are also based on statistical inference. A sample group is chosen to carefully study and track the effects of the new medicine.
We are all mandated by the government’s orders to carry some form of insurance—car, house— to keep us safe. This insurance and your premiums are calculated using descriptive and inferential statistics together.
Everyone has gotten confused over how different and erratic the different interest rates on loans are. This number is set by high level and experienced bankers with the help of statistical inference.
You can also read our blog on Scope of Statistics.
Bachelor of Science (BSc.) in Statistics
Sounds interesting? Well, you should read on to understand how you can start pursuing this course with a Bachelor’s degree in statistics.
The Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics is a three-year undergraduate degree course. The popularity and the scope of statistics in the modern world have sharply increased the number of intakes in this course. More and more students now understand the benefits of understanding statistics to get an edge over other candidates.
Eligibility for Admission
The best thing about a BSc. degree is that it provides students with an introduction to statistics. This also means that you do not have to give national entrance exams like CAT to secure a BSc degree.
To find our eligibility, colleges can use one or both of the following methods:
Here the student must have an aggregate of 50% marks, preferably through the commerce (with math) stream or the science streams. However, since it’s an introduction to statistics course, people from all streams can apply.
Some colleges can ask candidates to take an entrance exam to test their aptitudes.
Best colleges for Bachelor of Science in Statistics (BSc. Statistics)
Due to the rising number of applications for BSc. in statistics, more and more colleges are adding this degree to their course offerings. Here is the list of the top colleges offering this degree currently:
Scope and Jobs after BSc. Statistics
A BSc. in statistics is a very lucrative degree to have right now. Not only does it prepare students for a bright career in finance and accounting, but it also develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills in students. Finding patterns in large data sets using statistics formulas can increase the student’s logical thinking.
Additionally, some of the top firms are always on the lookout for students specialising in statistics. Some of the job profiles available to you after your degree requirement conditions are met are:
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The scope of statistics is on the rise. As more and more fields require more in-depth analysis with data mining, this specialised craft is finding its true glory. So, what are you waiting for? Now that you have a complete introduction to statistics go out there and start finding patterns in data and build a glorious career.