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Why Do We Need Statistics?

This is one of the blogs I wrote for RichMaths.com on how Statistics is important in everyday life.

Date : 02-12-2013

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Uploaded by : Sneha
Uploaded on : 02-12-2013
Subject : Maths

Statistics is a branch of Maths that looks into collecting data for analysis in order to find out how that data affects a certain scenario. However, you may ask: why do we need it? It can take a very long time working through statistical questions - but Statistics is a very important discipline within Maths that cannot be overlooked. Firstly, without Statistics, is would be very hard to make sense of any data. At the end of the day, data is nothing without a meaning. And meanings come from an understanding of a summary of that data. Through things like averages, modes and standard deviations, we can look at how the data is spread within a scenario. Imagine this: you sit a Maths exam and score 55%. You may think that this is a pretty average score as it is just above half marks. However, taking everyone's scores into consideration, you are told that the average is actually 60%. Because of this, you can now see that you performed below average and, thus, not as well as the majority of your class. With this in mind, you want to work harder in order to stand out more in your class. Without Statistics giving you the average mark, you would have never known that you, in fact, performed to a lower standard than expected - therefore you would not have had the ambition to work harder. Let's look at an example in the bigger world. If you work in a car insurance company, you require a lot of data to find out how likely (what the probability is) that a driver may have an accident and, consequently, make sure that the company you work for does not spend more money that they take in. So, given guidelines on characteristics like a driver's age, the car itself, the location of where it is left overnight, etc. - you can make a quote (price) for the driver to get their insurance. For example, a 17 year old with a history of having an accident who is driving an expensive car that is very fast and leaving their car parked in a dark street with no security cameras will have to pay a lot for the insurance for their car because there is a very high chance of the car being damaged or stolen. However, a 35 year old who has had no accidents at all, driving a mid-ranged car and keeping their car in a locked garage overnight will pay a lot less in comparison to the previous driver because the probability of the car being damaged or stolen is so low. This is just one example where statistics is used. It is also used in banking, geography, engineering, science, government, and many other areas! So, as you can see, despite how boring Statistics may be - it is a very VERY important part of today's work and it must not be ignored as a result.

This resource was uploaded by: Sneha