Statistics are at the forefront of all that we do. It simultaneously dictates and is dictated by our daily lives. We see it in our shopping, in our learning, and at every street corner.
It is what runs the universe and how the universe is run. In fact, so much of what we study is based on statistics.
Most degrees from a university require courses in statistics.
You may even find that your major requires specialized courses in statistics. Now, it’s even more valuable in a world of abundant data.
Statistics create a way to draw inferences about the world around us. We can visualize the world through data visualization.
We can even predict the outcome of an election (sometimes). Schools already value math, but we see statistics becoming more relevant in IB and A-level classes.
Statistics prepares a student for university and degrees. It’s the decision-making route for most of society today.
So why are statistics so important to so many people now?
Let’s take a look. Here are 10 reasons:
1. Fields that Use Statistics
Statistics is the field of probability and data. It creates direction from a collection of numbers.
Almost any field-if not every field-uses statistics. Doctors use statistics to predict disease and to make informed diagnoses.
Meteorologists predict the weather, the direction of a hurricane, and the chance of rain by forecasting. Professional sports teams track athlete “stats”, which gives us their player averages.
Now, sports teams even using numbers to predict the best play against an opponent. Banking and financial institutions are among the most well-known.
Data and statistics predict the direction of the stock market and optimizes the returns of investment.
Let’s check out why statistics is so important in our world today.
2. Data-Driven Society
Data continues to evolve its place in our world. It drives the decisions and directions of society.
Data is nothing without statistics. It teaches us how the world works. Statistics turn everyday observations in quantifiable numbers.
Together, these collections inform a larger part of the world. You can combine a small aspect of society with multiple small aspects to paint a picture.
The picture tells a story of why the clouds move how they move, or why Mondays feel more exhausting than Fridays.
Society knows the power of numbers, and so we use them to our advantage. We can make our society a better place by understanding it more through statistics. The use-cases are endless.
Here’s another one:
3. Government Agencies
Government agencies across the globe use statistics in decision making. This includes planning out transportation to public transit times. It informs policy making and decisions.
The Singapore government uses data to tack the population such as through the Census. But why? Statistics is a collection of useful information about a governing population.
It informs about the number of residents in a city or neighborhood, their income, occupation, and family size.
This information may seem invasive, but here’s what it does: it helps shape economic growth.
The government uses statistics to implement changes and policies for the population. Your information highlights areas that need growth and tracks progress as it happens.
Next, we see another reason why statistics is important: developing knowledge.
Research is the original field where statistics boomed. Research without statistics is like paper without a pencil. It has no point. The beginning of deeper knowledge is the outcome of the research.
We take an idea, read past research surrounding our idea, and build a case. Sometimes we perform a meta-analysis of the literature to help us understand the literature.
And guess what? That’s a statistical method in research.
So now we gather information and design a study based on validated measures. These measures are only validated because of statistics and what the data says.
We collect data for our study so that we can apply statistical methods.
The results of our model are a summary of the study and provide insight into further research (or gained knowledge). There’s another form of research that applies statistics:
5. Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are the backbone of medical treatment. Clinicians and researchers run trials of new medications and vaccines to test for efficacy.
This means they start with a treatment and a placebo, which is another name for no treatment. This is another form of research but relies heavily on the outcome.
For instance, we can measure the effect of a new treatment through statistics. Does the new method help more than existing methods?
Does it significantly improve a condition compared to no treatment?
Statistical tests analyze these treatments and their various levels of intervention.
Will I need statistics if I don’t want to be a researcher or doctor? Absolutely, and here’s why:
6. Job Skills
Do you want a job in the future? Knowledge of statistics will get you there or at least help.
More companies and agencies require knowledge of data or analytics.
They know the importance of a data-driven approach. Ultimately, data is the force behind success in the 21st century.
Companies leverage data to inform decisions. It forms business strategies. Marketing is a great example of using data to improve the field.
But, marketing uses statistics and math?
Yes, it measures ad success, consumption behavior, and targeted populations for a product. As technology increases, the demand for statistical knowledge will also increase.
Learn statistics and impress future employers with your inferential skills. You will immediately add value to a team or company by understanding data.
7. Machine Learning
Do you know what that means? It is heavily influenced by statistics.
Machine learning is almost entirely statistics. Predictive mathematics create machine learning algorithms that are used on datasets.
These datasets are at the root of machine knowledge. They teach a computer program, and in return, it learns.
Datasets are fed into a machine learning algorithm, which then predicts the next sequence of data.
Machine learning applications have increased across companies and organizations. We see places using chatbots to streamline customer service.
That’s machine learning and statistics!
This is innovation in math, computer science, and statistics. It is arguable the most valuable field for statistics right now.
8. Decision Making through Data
Decisions can make or break a company.
They determine the future, and often, this is based on the past.
How do companies and other organizations make smart decisions?
They use data-informed practices.
We now know that data is statistics, and statistics is data. It measures probability and predictive analytics. Companies leverage this type of math in decision making.
They optimize results through forecasting.
Past data inform future data, and this is at the root of decisions. Some companies and organizations have even gone as far as to implement machine learning into their forecast.
And we already know that machine learning is statistics.
The possibilities are endless!
9. Statistics in Education
Most universities and degree programs require a statistics course. More schools are pushing for the importance of data and statistics.
These are preparatory subjects for society, employment, and the future. School programs like IB require mathematical analysis courses which include Statistics.
These are largely statistics base. A-level classes for statistics are another way to boost your credentials.
You can get a step ahead through IB and A-level classes to increase your knowledge of statistics. It can also help you prepare for universities.
Many degrees require statistics courses to graduate. In fact, most majors or fields of study have their own specialized statistics courses. We can contribute better to our field of study through knowledge of statistics.
But wait, you don’t like math? That’s okay!
Many people who don’t like math actually love statistics. It will boost your education and understanding of the world around you.
Here’s a final reason statistics is important today:
10. Disease Tracking
We talked about various fields that use statistics.
Doctors, researchers, and government agencies all use data to help make the world a better place.
Disease tracking recently emerged as a way to leverage data to keep the world safe. It tracks numbers of disease cases, locations of cases, and infected persons. This tracks the path, direction, and status of a disease.
This is especially important during pandemics such as the current Covid-19 situation that is decimating the global economies and human lives, Singapore is not spared either.
Disease tracking informs the government of plans of action.
It helps doctors know what to expect. Governments can readily plan for reopening, track infected persons, and visualize the transfer of disease.
We can see what other countries do with the data they have. This is useful to know so we can implement safe strategies to combat the spread of disease.
Statistics inform and help improve the process. Overall, it uses statistics and data to protect the health and economy across the globe.
The reasons that statistics is important can go on and on. It informs of the world around us. It optimizes our decision-making.
Statistics creates a way to visualize the world around us-how it works together, what makes it tick. It has the possibility to improve society if used and interpreted correctly.
Does this sound interesting?
Dive into the world of prediction today, and give yourself a headstart for the future of everything.