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Hi, I’m Ben Owens, math educator, here for About.com. In this video I’ll explain what statistics is.

How Statistics is Used

Every day, you encounter information and numbers: like the amount of calories on your cereal box, or the mile-tracker in your car. To make sense of all this information, we can organize it, and analyze it. That’s basically what we do in statisics. Statistics is the study of numerical information, or data. And believe it or not, it’s everywhere around you: in the daily newspaper, in your mail, and online.

Where to Find Statistics

For example, you’re playing a game, statistics could answer the question: how likely is it to throw a total of four with two dice? How likely is it out of all the other options available, that we throw a total of four? Seems pretty random, right.

Well, statistics is a way to analyze randomness, which is also known as probability: how likely an event is to occur. In order to be able to draw any good conclusions, we need to acquire data, and then we need to organize the data, say in pie charts or time plots. This can help us spot patterns and trends.

Calculating Statistical Information

After that, we can do actual calculations: we can come up with conclusions or predictions. For example, after rolling two dice, writing down the results, analyzing the results, and organizing the data, we could conclude that the probability of throwing a total of four with two dice is about 8 percent. That’s a good example, but perhaps not something you find useful every day.

But, statistics is used in almost every field of scientific research - you can see it everywhere around you: in advertising, medicine, economics. Everywhere! For more on statistics and math in general, visit education.about.com. Thanks for watching!
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