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

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Stats LifeThumbnail image for Beyond Metadata: The Brave New World of Big Data Retention

With the Australian Senate passing the federal government’s data retention bill last week, there has been a great deal of discussion of 'metadata', what it is and whether the government ought to have access to it. However, metadata is just the tip of the data iceberg. The debate about data retention is only just beginning, and the outcome could touch on many aspects of our behaviour and society at large.

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

World Population Clock
Activities

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

World of Statistics BlogThumbnail image for Big Decisions in the Big Apple: My Address to the United Nations

By John Pullinger, United Kingdom National Statistician

On March 23, joined by my counterpart from Botswana, Anna Majelantle, I addressed the United Nations General Assembly on the topic of how to develop indicators to support the goals and targets for sustainable development. This was the first time anyone in my role had been invited to do this and as I prepared to make my speech I was struck by the significance of the moment. I often talk about stepping forward to take our place at the table where the decisions are made, and in this room filled with ambassadors and representatives from around the world, decisions are made which affect the lives of everyone.

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Significance MagazineThumbnail image for Who is the Hardest Working Star in Stand-up Comedy?

Stand-up comedy is big business, at least at the top of the game. Kevin Hart’s ‘What now?’ tour this year is set to break all kinds of records. During his last tour, he became one a handful of comedians to sell-out Madison Square Garden and this year he is back there with three shows. Then he will end the tour in his native Philadelphia as the first comedian to headline a show in an NFL stadium. Kevin Hart is undoubtedly the biggest star in stand-up comedy right now, but who is the hardest working?

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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.

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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 Katharina Schüller, Founder STAT-UP Statistical Consulting

By Ansgar Seyfferth

My colleague, Katharina Schüller, founded STAT-UP Statistical Consulting in 2003, when she was still studying statistics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany. She was awarded a scholarship to the Bavarian Elite Akademie in 2004 as one of Bavaria’s 30 best students, graduated in 2005, and received a participation award for the 2nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in 2006.

Now a mother of four children, she has established STAT-UP as an international company with more than a dozen statisticians in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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