The word statistics has different meanings for different people. Simply hearing the word, most people think of tables and figures relating to a large number of items of information.
In fact, the word “statistics” was first applied to the affairs of the state,—to the data that Government find necessary for effective planning, ruling and tax-collecting. The collectors and analyzers of such information were once called ‘statists’.
Today the term, ‘statistics’ is applied to nearly any kind of factual information given in terms of numbers known as ‘facts and figures’. These days, Radio and Television announcers tell us that they will have the statistics of the game in a few minutes. News papers also give statistics.
The application of statistics is so wide spread and influence statistics on our lives in any field is so great that its importance can hardly be overemphasized.
Statistics is frequently used by government as well. Data on economics affect policies of Government in the areas of taxation, funds spent for public works etc.
Now, statistical techniques are being used to control the quality Products being produced and to evaluate new products before they are marketed. Likewise, Statistics is used in Geology, Biology, Sociology, Psychology, Education, —in any area in which decisions “must be made on the basis of incomplete information.
Statistics is used in educational testing to improve quality of teaching and learning in classroom situations. Meteorology, the science of weather prediction is also using statistics now. And the list could thus go on and on.