The UN General Assembly agreed last June to celebrate today the first “World Statistics Day.” The objectives are to “enhance the contribution of the social welfare official statistics” and recognize the importance of indicators to measure countries’ progress, says the Society of Statistics and Operations Research (SEIO).
The statistic has been defined as the practice of torture to confess numbers “by Pere Grima, professor of the Research Group of Applied Statistics from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia. The phrase refers to that statistics is an essential tool to analyze and interpret information, looking for regular patterns hidden in vast amounts of data.
In modern science, the technology enables more and collect more data, statistical analysis becomes necessary to draw conclusions. This is what happens in genomics, with an increasing number of sequenced genomes of organisms, in physics and astrophysics, which have increasingly sensitive detectors, or in epidemiological or effectiveness of drugs, among countless examples.
The importance of ‘socio-political’ statistics
“The Statistical Commission United Nations was created in 1947. The Commission has developed guidelines and a methodology of an international character to help governments in their task of reporting of statistical nature. It was possible to make comparisons between nations and regions as never been done before, “said Wenceslao González Manteiga, Professor of Statistics and Operations Research of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela.
However, for non-experts and confident, the ubiquitous statistic can be a source of confusion. Nobody new graphics are presented in a way that perfectly convey the desired message, and opinion surveys give different results depending on who filed.
Tips to avoid falling into the trap of a poorly presented data
This is the context of search data. “Nothing is to say that the percentage of youth living with their parents has catkins in X% in the last decade if there is not much younger population has increased overall in the same period.” Asismimo, care must be taken to extend a percentage of the population a part of it all, keep in mind that there are margins of error and that the percentages do not add up. “If the probability of rain on Saturday is 50% and on Sunday too, does not mean that the probability of rain on the weekend is 100%-sure-it rains.”
Photo: Jorge Franganillo.
|Category: Mathematics||Tags: interpret information, sequenced genomes, ubiquitous statistic|