THE TERM STATISTICS
Roots of the Term “Statistics”
The Word statistics have been derived from Latin word “Status” and the Italian word “Statista”. The German Statik, put by Gottfried Achenwall (1749) for the first time, meant “state science” (later it is called politic arithmetic in English) that is the analysis of the data about the state. For that reason, the main aim of Statistic at the beginning was the data used by units of state (mainly central state). It was included to English by Sir John Sinclair between 1786 and 1798. (“A history of probability and statistics and their applications before 1750 Author: Anders Hald, 2003”, The history of statistics: the measurement of uncertainty before 1900 Author: Stephen M. Stigler, 1986)
By the 18th century, the term "statistics" designated the systematic collection of demographic and economic data by states. In the early 19th century, the meaning of "statistics" broadened, then including the discipline concerned with the collection, summary, and analysis of data. Quatelet, Jevons, Lexis, Galton and Edgeworth made important studies in 19th century. (Statistics on the table: the history of statistical concepts and methods, Author: Stephen M. Stigler, 2002)
Development of Statistics in the World
Foundations of probability were laid by Blaise Pascal in the late 1600s. Even though normal and bell curve known as Gauss curve has been cast to Karl Friedrich Gauss for many years (at the beginning of 1800s), later it is found by the historians that the normal curve was developed by Abraham DeMoivre in 1730. Statistics was not conceived as an academic discipline until late 1800s. Karl Pearson was regarded as one of the most important statisticians (late 1800s and early 1900s). Pearson correlation co-efficient is still used at times.
On the other hand, the story of Gosset is very interesting. Gosset was a man who made work by Guinness Brewery in Ireland. Brewery wanted to make sampling for tasting among the people living in Dublin in 1906. Gossett asked to what extent the sampling should be large for the results to be valid for the whole population. Brewery never allowed Gosset to publish his findings with his name; Gosset used the name “pseudonym of student. Today, t dispersal is still used as Student’s t dispersal. Sir Ronald A. Fisher is the most famous statisticians of all times. He found variance analysis and z conversion for correlations. To commemorate of Fisher, variance analysis is symbolized as “F” ratio. (An introduction to statistical concepts, Author: Richard G. Lomax, 2007)
The Definition of Statistics
Statistics is the numerical expression of realities which are able to be analyzed and interpreted. The science of statistics examines the principles and methods implemented in collecting, presenting, analyzing and interpreting the numerical data on a research field.
Today, statistics is widely used in public sector, private sector and all kinds of sciences. The software developed have expedited the statistical calculations and enabled statisticians to develop computer-intensive methods.
The Importance of Statistics in Different Areas
Statistics has a very important role in every area regarding of the human activity. Statistics plays important role in determining the current level, such as; the per capita income, unemployment, population growth rate, accommodation, enrollment, health services etc. At present, statistics already has a central position in almost all fields like industry, trade, physics, chemistry, economics, mathematics, biology, botanic, psychology, astronomy. That is; the implementation field of statistics is very wide.
The Characteristics of Statistics
Some of Important Characteristics are Given Below:
- Statistics is the consolidation of realities.
- - Statistics is expressed in numerical values.
- One is able to affect statistics by scaling the variables up.
- - Statistics can be ordered by accuracy with a reasonable standard and estimated.
- - Statistics is compiled for a predetermined purpose.
- - Statistics is compiled in a systematic way.
- - Statistics should be comparable.
The Boundaries of Statistics
The main boundaries of statistics are as follows.
- - The laws of statistics are true on the average. Statistics is the consolidation of facts. Therefore, single observations are not statistics. Statistics deals with grouping and consolidation.
- - Statistical methods are applicable best on numerical data.
- - Statistics can not be applied to heterogeneous data.
- - If data compilation, analysis and interpretation are done without attention, statistical outputs might be misleading.
- - Only the expert people in statistics can process the data.
The Functions/Benefits of Statistics
- - Statistics enables the statistical research in any subject is done efficiently and correctly,
- - Statistics helps to collect the appropriate numeric data
- - Statistics clarifies the complicated data through appropriate tables, diagrams and graphics.
- - Statistics helps understanding the structure and changing patterns of a fact through quantitative observations.
- Statistics enables true implications on a certain reliability level, on the variables of the population through sampling.