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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 1 What is Statistics? 1.1 Introduction Simply put, statistics is a way of getting information from data. Data can be regarded as facts, and we shall especially be concerned with numerical facts, collected together for reference or information. Information on the other hand is knowledge communicated concerning some particular fact of interest. Information is in fact what the consumer of statistics is after so that he or she may see through and make sense of the forest of data. Statistics is a tool for creating new understanding from data. In prac- tice, there are essentially two ways of doing statistics; descriptive statis- tics , which are methods of organizing, summarizing, and presenting data in a convenient and informative way, and; inferential statistics , which involve methods used to make conclusions or inferences concerning some unknown aspect of a population based on data from a sample. Descrip- tive statistics include graphical summaries and numerical techniques, while statistical inference involves the making of estimates, predictions, and/or decisions about a population based on a sample. What a statistician is really interested in is to learn something about a population. By population, it is meant a collection of all possible individu- als, objects, or measurements of interest. What we wish to learn about the 1 2 CHAPTER 1. WHAT IS STATISTICS?...
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- Spring '10
- Statistics, researcher