The World of Statistics

What is Statistics?

When many people hear the word "statistics," they think of either sports-related numbers or the college class they took and barely passed. While statistics can be thought about in these terms, there is more to the relationship between you and statistics than you probably imagine.

So, what is statistics? Several informal definitions are offered in the book A Career in Statistics: Beyond the Numbers by Gerald Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy:

  • The science of learning from (or making sense out of) data
  • The theory and methods of extracting information from observational data for solving real-world problems
  • The science of uncertainty
  • The quintessential interdisciplinary science
  • The art of telling a story with [numerical] data

Read More →
Stats LifeThumbnail image for The Production Problems of Moving from Surveys to Organic Data

As we move from the world of designed data (through surveys, censuses, and administrative forms) to one of self-generated 'big data', or more organic data. We are excited about completely new ways to describe our world, the behaviors of humans, and the activities of organizations. This will be a more complicated data world than the one that forms the basis of current most social and economic statistical indicators. Most importantly, the analysts who produce statistical descriptions in this new world are unlikely to control much of the processes that generate the data.

Read More →

StatsLife is the news, opinion and resource website of the Royal Statistical Society.

World Population Clock

Below are The World of Statistics participating organization events and activities around the world that will be conducted during October. To see the complete list of activities for 2015, please click here.

World of Statistics Blog

The 5th Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy will be held October 13-15 in Guadalajara, Mexico. The event is themed “Transforming Policy, Changing Lives”.

For over a decade, the OECD has been spearheading work on well-being measurement and policy, in line with its mission of promoting “Better Policies for Better Lives”. Many individuals and organisations around the world also have been part of a global call for better measures and policies for progress “beyond GDP”.

Read More →
Significance MagazineThumbnail image for Mind the Gap: The Digital Divide and Digital Inclusion

Internet use is transforming almost every aspect of our public, private and work life. More than three quarters of the UK population use the internet daily, up from just 35% of people in 2006. Two thirds of people now own a smartphone, using it for nearly two hours every day to browse the internet, access social media, bank and shop online.

Despite the ubiquitous presence of the internet in our daily lives, the 2013 BBC Media Literacy study showed that some 21% of people can’t use the web and 14% didn’t have any internet access. This means that 7% of the population can access the web, but do not feel that they have the necessary skills to make the most of it. All of these people are classified as being digitally excluded.

The world is increasingly moving online first – whether it be for online shopping, banking, or social media.

Read More →

Significance is a publication of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.

Census at School

Challenge Yourself Today!

We are proud to introduce Stats2013AtSchool—a Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education and American Statistical Association special project expressly designed for schools and students worldwide in support of The World of Statistics.

Read More →

Census at School is a free, web-based classroom project that engages primary and secondary school students in statistical problemsolving using their own data. This international educational initiative, launched in 2000 in the United Kingdom by the Royal Statistical Society Centre for Statistical Education, has programs operating in several countries.

Click here to view the Census at School program in your country or others around the world.

Statistician Job of the WeekThumbnail image for Livestock Statistician Knows Data Matter

By Dan Kerestes

Growing up on a small general crop and livestock farm in central Minnesota cultivated my enthusiasm for agriculture. Even then I knew I wanted to do something related to agriculture but I also knew the value of getting a good education. I attended the University of Minnesota to earn my undergraduate degree, after which I earned a Master's of Science degree at North Dakota State University.

College provided me with skills in mathematics and agriculture but like most college graduates, no job. This is where the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture came into the picture.

Read More →