When people hear the word ‘Statistics’ they think immediately of either sports related numbers or a subject they have studied at college and passed with minimum marks.

**Scope
and Applications**

In
ancient times the scope of statistics was limited. When people hear the word
‘Statistics’ they think immediately of either sports related numbers or a
subject they have studied at college and passed with minimum marks. While
statistics can be thought in these terms there is a wide scope for statistics.
Today, there is no human activity which does not use statistics. There are two
major divisions of statistical methods called descriptive statistics and
inferential statistics and each of the divisions are important and satisfies
different objectives. The descriptive statistics is used to consolidate a large
amount of information. For example, measures of central tendency, like mean are
descriptive statistics. Descriptive statistics just describes the data in a
condensed form for solving some limited problems. They do not involve beyond
the data at hand.

Inferential
statistics, on the other hand, are used when we want to draw meaningful
conclusions based on sample data drawn from a large population. For example,
one might want to test whether a recently developed drug is more efficient than
the conventional drug. Hence, it is impossible to test the efficiency of the
drug by administering to each patient affected by a particular disease, but we
will test it only through a sample. A quality control engineer may be
interested in the quality of the products manufactured by a company. He uses a
powerful technique called acceptance sampling to protect the producer and consumer
interests. An agricultural scientist wanted to test the efficacy of fertilizers
should test by designed experiments. He may be interested in farm size, use of
land and crop harvested etc. One advantage of working in statistics is that one
can combine his interest with almost any field of science, technology or social
sciences such as Economics Commerce, Engineering Medicine, and Criminology and
so on.

The
profession of statistician is exciting, challenging and rewarding. Statistician
is the most prevalent title but professionals like Risk analyst, Data analyst,
Business analyst have been engaged in work related to statistics. In view of
the overwhelming demand for Statistics many universities in India and elsewhere
have been offering courses in statistics at graduate and Master’s level. We
have mentioned earlier that statistics has applications to almost all fields.
Here in this section we highlight its applications to select branches.

Actuarial
science is the discipline that extensively applies statistical methods among
other subjects involved in insurance and financial institutions. The
professionals who qualify in actuarial science course are called actuaries.
Actuaries, in the earlier days used deterministic models to assess the premiums
in insurance sector. Nowadays, with modern computers and sophisticated
statistical methods, science has developed vastly. In India, from 2006 a
statutory body has been looking after the profession of actuaries.

Statistical methods are widely used in business and trade solutions such as financial analysis, market research and manpower planning. Every business establishment irrespective of the type has to adopt statistical techniques for its growth. They estimate the trend of prices, buying and selling, importing and exporting of goods using statistical methods and past data. Ya-Lun-Chou says “It is not an exaggeration to say that today nearly every decision in business is made with the aid of statistical data and statistical methods.”

Statistical
methods are very much useful to understand economic concepts, such as mandatory
policy and public finance. In the modern world, economics is taught as an exact
service which makes extensive use of statistics. Some of the important
statistical techniques used in economic analysis are: Times series, Index
Numbers, Estimation theory and Tests of significance, stochastic models.
According to Engeberg “No
Economist would attempt
to arrive at a conclusion
concerning the production or distribution of wealth without an exhaustive study
of statistical data.” In
our country many state governments have a division
called Department of Economics and Statistics for the analysis of Economic data
of the state.

In
medical field, statistical methods are extensively used. If we look at the
medical journals one can understand to what extent the statistical techniques
play a key role. Medical statistics deals with the applications of statistical
methods like tests of significance and confidence intervals to medicine and
health science including epidemiology, public health. Modern statistical
methods helps the medical practitioners to understand how long a patient
affected by a dreaded disease will survive and what are the factors that
influence a patient to be alive or dead.

Experimentation
and inference based on these experiments are the key features of general
scientific methodology. Agricultural scientists conduct experiments and make
inferences to decide whether the particular variety of crop gives a better
yield than others or a particular type of fertilizer etc,. There are several
institutes where research is being done by making use of statistical methods
like analysis of variance (ANOVA), factorial experiments etc., falls under the
hut of Design of experiments. There is a separate institute (IASRI), New Delhi,
carrying out research in agricultural statistics.

Statistical
methods play a vital role in any modern use of science and technology. Many
statistical methods have been developed and applied in industries for various
problems. For example, to maintain the quality of manufactured products the
concept of statistical quality control is used. The quality in time domain
study of mechanical, electrical or electronic items the concept of
‘Reliability’ has emerged. Total quality management and six-sigma theories make
use of statistical concepts.

Information
Technology is the applications of computers and telecommunication equipments to
store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data. Now-a-days, several industries
are involved in information technology and massive amounts of data are stored
every day. These data are to be analyzed meaningfully so that the information
contained in the data is used by the respective users. To address this issue,
fields such as data mining, Machine learning have emerged. Data mining an
interdisciplinary sub field of computer science is the computational process of
discovering patterns in large data sets involving methods such as artificial
intelligence and statistics. Persons trained in statistics with computing
knowledge have been working as data analytics to analyze such huge data.

Statistics
provides statistical information to government to evolve policies, to maintain
law and order, to promote welfare schemes and to other schemes of the
government. In other words, statistical information is vital in overall
governance of the state. For instance statistics provide information to the
government on population, agricultural production, industrial production,
wealth, imports, exports, crimes, birth rates, unemployment, education, minerals
and so on.

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11th Statistics : Scope of Statistics and Types of Data : Scope and Applications of Statistics |

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