History of Statistics - Essay Example

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Generally speaking, statistics is commonly defined as "the mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data" (Statistics 1). However, Benitez offers a much more precise definition of statistics which delineates it from the science of mathematics…
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History of Statistics
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17 October 2006 Statistics Generally speaking, statistics is commonly defined as "the mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data" (Statistics 1). However, Benitez offers a much more precise definition of statistics which delineates it from the science of mathematics. According to him, statistics can be specifically and accurately defined as "the science that looks at the study of generic phenomena, normally complex and framed in a variable universe by means of reduction models of information and validation analysis of the results in representative terms" (Benitez 1). He further elaborated that statistics can be applied to numeric, alphabetical, and even symbolic data.
Statistics has been traditionally regarded as the "science of the state" because its original designation and application is in the analysis of the data about the state. Statistics is primarily used to refer to the collection and classification of data for governmental and administrative bodies in the early 19th century. The 20th century saw a substantial advancement in statistics as this science is not only employed to gather demographic data but has also become an instrumental tool in the analysis of public health concerns, economic, and social matters (Statistics 3-5).
With these developments, the task of statistician has branched out from the collection and analysis of the governmental data to encompass other sectors like business and industry, health and medicine, learning, research, social scientists and natural resources (Careers in Statistics 1-20). Statistics is important to all these fields as the often predict and test the validity of various hypothesis. The main task of the statistician in these diverse fields is to carry out the statistical processes-data collection, analysis, presentation, interpretation of results and elaboration of methods. Statisticians must also determine the validity of the data they gather. With these broad responsibilities, statisticians can be involved in administering surveys, developing a statistical model, and presentation to data users. However, they deal with different topics according to their field. For example, a statistician in scientific researches may investigate the effectiveness of new treatments on patients. On the other hand, statisticians on businesses work on the forecast of the demand for products and services.
However, the use of statistics is not only limited to statisticians. All of us use statistical concepts often unknowingly though they may not be as complex as the ones employed by the professional statisticians. As a student, finding our average grade for the semester necessitates the calculation of the mean. Also, all of us often generate forecasts for our monthly expenses using our previous disbursements.
Different variables in statistics are often used to asses the economic situation of our country. One of the most commonly discussed in the newspapers is gross domestic product or GDP. These forecasts are generated through the use of time series regression which utilizes the recorded past values of GDP. GDP forecast is often necessary for investors, businessmen and other economic planners.
Works Cited
Benitez, Sanchez-Crespo. "The Definition of Statistics." National Institute of Statistics in Cantabria. n.d. 17 October 2006 <
Facility/1075/Statistic.htm> "Careers in Statistics." American Statistical Association. 2006. 17 October 2006 "Statistics." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 13 October 2006. 17 October 2006 Read More
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