How statistics are used in understanding data. Why they are important for making, discovering things, and making predictions.
- I know what you want. You want answers, and in the modern world, often the most important answers come in the form of numbers, but why do you want these answers? What could you do with those magic numbers? Perhaps, if you analyze those numbers, you could make more informed decisions. Maybe you want to convince somebody of something. Perhaps, with the right numbers, you could motivate your employees to work harder, or maybe, you can help them work smarter.
Maybe you help lead a global organization. A global organization with employees and volunteers all around the world. You can't be everywhere, but it's possible that numbers will allow you to manage from afar. Those numbers might tell you how your facility 10,000 miles away is performing, and maybe, by looking at those numbers, you might discover something new about your organization, your employees, and volunteers, or even your customers.
Sometimes, though, someone brings you the numbers. When someone hands you a report, sends you a spreadsheet in an email, gives you a boardroom presentation, or when they text you this morning's sales numbers, what are they doing? Perhaps, they're trying to convince you of something, or it's possible that they might be trying to deceive you. In today's world, we're being bombarded by numbers all day long at our desk, in meetings, in our cars, on the train, on our phones.
Some of those numbers are helpful. Some are confusing, and others are probably just distracting us from what's really important. The problem, of course, is trying to figure out which numbers are which ones are bad? And I don't care how comfortable you are with numbers. In a world where so much data is so readily available and so much about the world is unknown, it never hurts to develop a deeper understanding of statistics. Statistics can help us quantify uncertainty.
Statistics can help us discern if results are providing us true illustration of a situation, or if results are presenting us with a biased view. By understanding data sets, the center of these data sets, the spread of the numbers in these data sets, by knowing how to read some basic statistical charts, and by having an understanding of basic probability, you'll be taking your first steps toward being a confident contributor in your organization, someone that can make more informed decisions by knowing which numbers are helpful in each situation.
You may also become a leader that can explain and illustrate to others how certain statistics will lead to better outcomes. As we being our journey into statistics, I want you to start to question the numbers that cross your path in the emails you receive, the articles you read, and in the conversations you have with your colleagues. Where did those numbers come from? How are they calculated? Are those the right numbers needed to make this decision? Questioning and wondering, those are the first steps in becoming a statistician.
Professor Eddie Davila covers statistics basics, like calculating averages, medians, modes, and standard deviations. He shows how to use probability and distribution curves to inform decisions, and how to detect false positives and misleading data. Each concept is covered in simple language, with detailed examples that show how statistics are used in real-world scenarios from the worlds of business, sports, education, entertainment, and more. These techniques will help you understand your data, prove theories, and save time, money, and other valuable resources—all by understanding the numbers.
- Why statistics matter
- Evaluating your data sets
- Finding means, medians, and modes
- Calculating standard deviation
- Measuring distribution and relative position
- Understanding probability and multiple-event probability
- Describing permutations: the order of things
- Calculating discrete and continuous probability distributions