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"Statistical unit is necessary not only for the collection of data, but also for the interpretation and presentation". Explain the statement.

1.   “Statistical unit is necessary not only for the collection of data, but also for the interpretation and presentation”. Explain the statement.

2.   Solution:-

Solution: Statistics may be defined as the science of collection, presentation analysis and interpretation of numerical data from the logical analysis.

The word ‘statistic’ is used to refer to
-   Numerical facts, such as the number of people living in particular area.
-   The study of ways of collecting, analyzing and interpreting the facts.

Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of data, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.

The word statistics, when referring to the scientific discipline, is singular, as in "Statistics is an art." This should not be confused with the word statistic, referring to a quantity (such as mean or median) calculated from a set of data, whose plural is statistics ("this statistic seems wrong" or "these statistics are misleading").

The plural sense of statistics means some sort of statistical data. When it means statistical data, it refers to numerical description of quantitative aspects of things, These descriptions may take the form of counts or measurements. For example, statistics of students of a college include count of the number of students, and separate counts of number of various kinds as such, male and females, married and unmarried, or undergraduates and post-graduates. They may also include such measurements as their heights and weights.

The large volume of numerical information (or data) gives rise to the need for systematic methods which can be used to collect, organise or classify, present, analyse and interpret the information effectively for the purpose of making wise decisions. Statistical methods include all those devices of analysis and synthesis by means of which statistical data are systematically collected and used to explain or describe a given phenomena.

Statistical unit is necessary not only for the collection of data, but also for the interpretation and presentation. According to this statement there are four stages:

1)   Collection of Data: It is the first step and this is the foundation upon which the entire data set. Careful planning is essential before collecting the data. There are different methods of collection of data such as census, sampling, primary, secondary, etc., and the investigator should make use of correct method.

2)   Presentation of data: The mass data collected should be presented in a suitable, concise form for further analysis. The collected data may be presented in the form of tabular or diagrammatic or graphic form.

3)   Analysis of data: The data presented should be carefully analyzed for making inference from the presented data such as measures of central tendencies, dispersion, correlation, regression etc.

4)   Interpretation of data: The final step is drawing conclusion from the data collected. A valid conclusion must be drawn on the basis of analysis. A high degree of skill and experience is necessary for the interpretation.

By now you may have realised that effective decisions. have to be based upon realistic data. The field of statistics provides the methods for collecting, presenting and meaningfully interpreting the given data. Statistical Methods broadly fall into three categories as shown in the following chart.

Fact becomes knowledge, when it is used in the successful completion of a decision process. Once you have a massive amount of facts integrated as knowledge, then your mind will be superhuman in the same sense that mankind with writing is superhuman compared to mankind before writing. The following figure illustrates the statistical thinking process based on data in constructing statistical models for decision making under uncertainties.

The above figure depicts the fact that as the exactness of a statistical model increases, the level of improvements in decision-making increases. That's why we need statistical data analysis. Statistical data analysis arose from the need to place knowledge on a systematic evidence base. This required a study of the laws of probability, the development of measures of data properties and relationships, and so on.

Statistical inference aims at determining whether any statistical significance can be attached that results after due allowance is made for any random variation as a source of error. Intelligent and critical inferences cannot be made by those who do not understand the purpose, the conditions, and applicability of the various techniques for judging significance.

Considering the uncertain environment, the chance that "good decisions" are made increases with the availability of "good information." The chance that "good information" is available increases with the level of structuring the process of Knowledge Management. The above figure also illustrates the fact that as the exactness of a statistical model increases, the level of improvements in decision-making increases.

Statistics is a science assisting you to make decisions under uncertainties (based on some numerical and measurable scales). Decision making process must be based on data neither on personal opinion nor on belief.

It is already an accepted fact that "Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write." So, let us be ahead of our time.

A  body  of  techniques  and  procedures  dealing  with  the  collection,  organization,  analysis,  interpretation,  and presentation of information that can be stated numerically.

Perhaps an example will clarify this definition. Say, for example, we wanted to know the level of job satisfaction nurses experience working on various units within a particular hospital (ie. psychiatric, cardiac care, obstetrics, etc.). The first thing we would need to do is collect some data. We might have all the nurses on a particular day complete a job satisfaction questionnaire. We could ask such questions as "On a scale of 1 (not satisfied) to 10 (highly satisfied), how satisfied are you with your job?". We might examine employee turnover rates for each unit during the past year. We could also examine absentee records for a two month period of time as decreased job satisfaction is correlated with higher absenteeism. Once we have collected the data, we would then organize it. In this case, we would organize it by nursing unit.

Descriptive statistics are used to organize or summarize a particular set of measurements. In other words, a descriptive statistic will describe that set of measurements. For example, in our study above, the mean described the absenteeism rates of five nurses on each unit. The U.S. census represents another example of descriptive statistics. In this case, the information that is gathered concerning gender, race, income, etc. is compiled to describe the population of the United States at a given point in time. A baseball player's batting average is another example of a descriptive statistic. It describes the baseball player's past ability to hit a baseball at any point in time. What these three examples have in common is that they organize, summarize, and describe a set of measurements.

Inferential statistics use data gathered from a sample to make inferences about the larger population from which the sample was drawn. For example, we could take the information gained from our nursing satisfaction study and make inferences to all hospital nurses. We might infer that cardiac care nurses as a group are less satisfied with their jobs as indicated by absenteeism rates.  Opinion polls  and television  ratings  systems  represent  other  uses  of  inferential statistics. For example, a limited number of people are polled during an election and then this information is used to describe voters as a whole.

Traditionally, statistics was concerned with drawing inferences using a semi-standardized methodology that was "required learning" in most sciences. This has changed with use of statistics in non-inferential contexts. What was once considered a dry subject, taken in many fields as a degree-requirement, is now viewed enthusiastically. Initially derided by some mathematical purists, it is now considered essential methodology in certain areas.

•   In number theory, scatter plots of data generated by a distribution function may be transformed with familiar tools used in statistics to reveal underlying patterns, which may then lead to hypotheses.

•   Methods of statistics including predictive methods in forecasting are combined with chaos theory and fractal geometry to create video works that are considered to have great beauty.

•   The process art of Jackson Pollock relied on artistic experiments whereby underlying distributions in nature were artistically revealed.[citation needed] With the advent of computers, statistical methods were applied to formalize such distribution-driven natural processes to make and analyze moving video art.

•   Methods of statistics may be used predicatively in performance art, as in a card trick based on a Markov process  that  only  works  some  of  the  time,  the  occasion  of  which  can  be  predicted  using  statistical methodology.

•   Statistics can be used to predicatively create art, as in the statistical or stochastic music invented by Iannis Xenakis, where the music is performance-specific. Though this type of artistry does not always come out as expected, it does behave in ways that are predictable and tunable using statistics.

Thus we can say “Statistical unit is necessary not only for the collection of data, but also for the interpretation and presentation.”

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Leo Lingham


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