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What is the nature and scope of statistics?

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Statistics, according to About.com, is the study of numerical information called data. Statisticians acquire, study and formulate conclusions based on data they collect using any of several different methods.

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In the field of statistics, a small portion of a large group is used to formulate conclusions about the entire group. The smaller portion is the sample size, and the entire group is referred to as the population. An assumption about a population of millions of people may be derived from a sample size of a few thousand people.

Acquiring data is dependent on the method of collection. The collection of data can be random or clustered, depending on the nature of the survey. The methods used to collect the data are important to the statisticians making conclusions from the final tallies. Whether the questionnaire allows people to submit their own answers or researchers obtain the data themselves, the method factors into the final conclusion.

Organization of data is the visualization of all the varying answers through the use of charts and graphs. These visual aids help to organize the data in a clear manner.

The analysis of data is called descriptive statistics. The mean is the average of the data collected. The range shows how spread out the data is.

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Related Questions

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The main advantage of statistics is that information is presented in a way that is easy to analyze, which makes its conclusions easily accessible. Comparative statistical analysis allows people to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different strategies, programs, policies or products across multiple demographics, making it an indispensable tool for decision makers.

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Descriptive statistics are descriptions of the main factors of a group of data or a summary of the information. These statistics give a snapshot of the information that has been gathered. This type of information is often used when there are so many variables in a data cluster that it would be nearly impossible to list or graph every single factor of the information.

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Advanced Placement, or AP, Statistics is an accelerated high school course involving the collection, analysis and interpretation of mathematical data. This non-calculus-based course challenges students to develop theories and draw conclusions by identifying trends and divergences in data patterns. The curriculum typically requires students to design mock studies and surveys.