Definition of Statistics
Statistics like many other sciences is a developing discipline. It is not nothing static. It has gradually developed during last few centuries. In different times, it has been defined in different manners. Some definitions of the past look very strange today but those definitions had their place in their own time. Defining a subject has always been difficult task. A good definition of today may be discarded in future. It is difficult to define statistics. Some of the definitions are reproduced here:
The kings and rulers in the ancient times were interested in their manpower. They conducted census of population to get information about their population. They used ...view middle of the document...
There are many other statistical tools like measure of variation, measure of correlation, measures of independence etc. Thus this definition is weak and incomplete and has been buried in the past.
3. Prof: Boddington has defined statistics as
“Science of estimate and probabilities”
This definition covers a major part of statistics. It is close to the modern statistics. But it is not complete because it stress only on probability. There are some areas of statistics in which probability is not used.
4. A definition due to W.I. King is
“The science of statistics is the method of judging collection, natural or social phenomena from the results obtained from the analysis or enumeration or collection of estimates”.
This definition is close to the modern statistics. But it does not cover the entire scope of modern statistics. Secrist has given a detailed definition of statistics in plural sense. His definition is given on the previous. He has not given any importance to statistics in singular sense. Statistics both in the singular and the plural sense has been combined in the following definition which is accepted as the modern definition of statistics.
Statistics are the numerical statement of facts capable of analysis and interpretation and the science of statistics is the study of the principles and the methods applied in collecting, presenting, analysis and interpreting the numerical data in any field of inquiry.
Function of statistics
Statistics as a discipline is considered indispensable in almost all spheres of human knowledge. There is hardly any branch of study which does not use statistics. Scientific, social and economic studies use statistics in one form or another. These disciplines make-use of observations, facts and figures, enquiries and experiments etc. using statistics and statistical methods. Statistics studies almost all aspects in an enquiry. It mainly aims at simplifying the complexity of information collected in an enquiry. It presents data in a simplified form as to make them intelligible. It analyses data and facilitates drawls of conclusions. Now let us briefly discuss some of the important functions of statistics.
1. Presents facts in simple form:
Statistics presents facts and figures in a definite form. That makes the statement logical and convincing than mere description. It condenses the whole mass of figures into a single figure. This makes the problem intelligible.
2. Reduces the Complexity of data:
Statistics simplifies the complexity of data. The raw data are unintelligible. We make them simple and intelligible by using different statistical measures. Some such commonly used measures are graphs, averages, dispersions, skewness, kurtosis, correlation and regression etc. These measures help in interpretation and drawing inferences. Therefore, statistics enables to enlarge the horizon of one's knowledge.
3. Facilitates comparison:
Comparison between different sets of observation...