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What is statistics? Meaning, Definition, Types, Characteristics, Importance and Uses


What is statistics? Meaning, Definition, Types, Characteristics, Importance and Uses 


Statistics is the methodology or methodology that is used for the compilation or collection, presentation and analysis of numerical facts. Such results are obtained by statistics, by which a general conclusion can be reached by clarifying the relationship between different conditions.

Statistics is the scientific method of data and statistics which is seen as an essential basis for study.

Statistics helps in summarizing the group of data in the form of some numerical measurements, so that appropriate and complete information about the group of data is presented by statistics. 

Although statistics is very important in the field of social research, it is better to use it as an additional method. 

The facts obtained from statistics can be formulated in the form of useful conclusions only by the personal ability of the researcher. The utility and importance of statistics is increasing. 

Meaning of Statistics


Literally, the word statistics is a Hindi variation of the English word statistics, which is also linked to the Latin word status and the German word statistik, which means state

Statistics literally means science related to numbers. 

Thus, statistics as a subject is that branch of knowledge which deals with numbers or numerical data. 

German scholar Gottfried Eichenwal is credited with presenting statistical principles in scientific form, that is why Eichenwal is called the father of statistics

Karl Pearson's contribution to the development of statistics in the present era is maximum. 

Definitions of Statistics 


1. Bowle - "Data is the presentation of facts in any department of research in the form of numbers, which are presented in relation to each other".

2. Kanar - "Statistics is a systematic and systematic method of calculation or estimation of measurement related to any natural or social problem so that interrelationships can be demonstrated". 

3. Wallis and Rabats - “Statistics is the numerical description of the quantitative aspects expressed in the form of counts or measurements of items”.

Types of Statistics 


There are mainly two types of statistics -

  • Parameter statistics
  • Non-parametric statistics 

1. Parametric Statistics

In parameter statistics, everyone is related to a particular parameter and on the basis of data, inference is made regarding the parameter. The types of data analyzed in parametric statistics are related to data sampling and general description.


2. Non-parametric Statistics

Non-parametric statistics are also called distribution-free statistics because there are some statistics that have neither random selection nor a normal distribution. 

Due to the small number of such figures, the form of the data is distorted and they are not related to the parameter of a composite. 

Statistical methods related to such data come under non parametric statistics. Median, correlation, median test are the main statistical methods.

Applied statistics can be divided into two main types:

Descriptive statistics

Estimated statistics 


1. Descriptive Statistics - 

Descriptive statistics includes those methods using which the characteristics of a sample are described on the basis of the data obtained. 

This type of statistics is used in statistics for the collection, organization, presentation and calculation of the data, under this the data is compiled and tabulated and some simple statistical values ​​are calculated to clarify the characteristics of the data - such as central Measures of trend, measures of deviation and correlation etc. are used to know the nature and condition of the class etc.

2. Estimated Statistics - 


Estimated statistics methods are used to draw conclusions about the population by collecting facts in a particular sample taken from a population. 

Often with the help of this statistic the validity of the results is checked. Often higher statistical methods are used for estimation like probability rule, standard error, significance, test etc. 

Since the groups are wide and the number of their members is more, therefore, by selecting the sample from these large groups for study, the conclusions obtained from the study of the problem represent the entire group.

Characteristics of Statistics


1. A set of facts or a conclusion based on it is called statistics. Example- The monthly income of a single person is not a statistic, but the average income derived from the monthly income of many people is called statistical data.

2. The use of statistics does not express the qualitative significance of a fact i.e. good, bad, fair or unfair. 

On the contrary, every conclusion is expressed by number in the form of percentage, ratio, mean or deviation. In real sense, statistics is a set of numerical data. The fact that the salary of the manager of an industrial sector is more than that of the workers does not show the statistical nature, while the mutual comparison of the average monthly income of different categories of workers will present the facts in statistical form.


3. In statistics, data is collected keeping in view a pre-determined objective. Statistical data are not scattered here and there, but they are very systematic and planned. The facts obtained in the absence of any predetermined purpose can be called numbers but they do not come under the category of statistics. 

For example, if the socio-economic condition of workers in an industrial sector is to be studied, then the objective is already determined for which purpose the collection of facts is being done. For this purpose the facts like working hours, daily wages, health conditions, family size, educational level etc. can be collected.


4. Statistics is also related to those data which are comparable with each other. Homogeneous homogeneity in the categories of comparison is essential for comparative study. 

For example, if the income of individuals is compared with the data of tree plantation, then they cannot be kept in statistics because of non-homogeneity. It is clear from the above example that only those groups of data can be called statistics which are mutually comparable.

5. The presence of sufficient precision in the data is a special requirement of statistics. This means that the nature of the subject of study and the purpose of research should be pure. The accuracy of the data is related to the nature of the subject and the specific situation. This precision is determined by the quantity or number of data on the basis of which a useful conclusion can be drawn.


6. Under this specialty of statistics, the data is collected in a systematic manner because unsystematic data cannot represent any conclusion objectively.

7. It is known that being a science, statistics related to statistics are affected by many reasons or factors. Statistics is not only related to the analysis of any one aspect, but also to the assessment or interpretation of all those factors which generate changes in a particular situation, as well as to express the mutual correlation between the events.


8. The compilation of data contained in statistics is based on many methods and techniques. Computation and sampling based data compiled with an objective method explain the specialty of statistics. 

Data collection in limited research area is done by calculation method and in detailed research area, data collection is done by sampling i.e. by selecting some representative units from the related complete units.

9. In particular, statistics is a science that clarifies general trends related to a subject on the basis of data. The basic assumption of statistics is that the conclusions drawn on the basis of certain numbers are applicable to other numbers. 

For example, if the working conditions, health-level, monthly income, birth rate, death rate, etc. data are collected in a particular society, then on the basis of them the general trends related to population can be understood for other societies of the same type.


Importance and Utility of Statistics 


At present the use of statistics is increasing because policy making is necessary in every area of ​​our life and policy making is not possible without statistics. 

The planning of the entire economy of India and other developing countries is directly or indirectly based on the use of statistics. 

Future needs are estimated only through the collected statistical data and efforts are made to increase resources in the direction of development. 

The importance and usefulness of statistics can be understood as these points-


1. This important function of statistics is to present the facts related to the subject in the form of numbers, earlier its use was limited to getting data measured in numbers, but with the development of attitude measurement scales, human thoughts and psychological studies The utility of statistics has also expanded. By this the problems can be understood in a relatively simpler form. 

For example, at present, exit polls are conducted by the media to estimate the seats that many political parties will get at the time of elections, so that the opinion of the people can be known.


Simple and understandable presentation of data is possible only through statistics. Very difficult looking facts can be easily displayed by statistics classification, tabulation, bar charts, graphs, dotted lines and ordinary people can understand them easily. 

For example, seeing per capita income and national income through tables and graphs makes their acceptance easy and memorable.

3. Statistics makes a comparative study of the facts contained in the subject or the data related to many subjects. By comparing any two facts through average and coefficient, they show correlation between them. 

For example, if we study between the economic status of the families and the educational level in the community, then it becomes easy to find out from the data that the economic status of the families is related to education.


4. Only data is not analyzed by statistics, but with the help of data obtained in statistics, future conditions or conditions can be predicted in advance. Forecasting is an essential feature of science, on the basis of which future plans are made. Based on the data obtained from the population, it is important to decide the priority based work areas to meet the future requirements. 

5. Statistics increases personal knowledge and experiences. Using this, the practical side of any problem can be understood easily and correctly.


6. Information about most of the subjects in social life is based on general statements and information obtained from secondary sources, however clear and empirically proven knowledge is obtained only through statistics, therefore it can be clarified that most of the information about social subjects is The authentic basis is statistics.

7. At present, the use of statistics is also important for administrative work. Through policy planning by compiling data related to many areas of development, governments make administrative implementation more alert and effective so that qualitative and quantitative achievement of development goals can be ensured.


8. Due to the change in general conditions, the old principles are no longer valid and useful as before. Using the study methods obtained from statistics, it is possible to compile the present facts that to what extent any rule or principle of the past is useful or unusable in the present. 

9. Only through data it can be possible to find out what are the needs of that area or group. On the basis of these requirements, the priorities related to development works are decided.


10. The balance between economic production and consumption of a person depends on business activities and industrial development. The study of people's interests, life style, standard of living, purchasing capacity and daily practical habits are essential for the organization or management of production. This means that the more efficiently the industrial and economic data are collected, the faster the economic development of that area can be planned. Again the use of statistics is important for planning.

11. The sequence of social events is largely abstract and qualitative, but with the help of statistical tools trends related to events can be understood. Social research cannot be made correct and objective in the absence of statistics. Social development works are also evaluated on the basis of statistics.

Limitations of Statistics


There are limits to its use as well. It is very important to take care of the limitations in the collection, analysis and interpretation techniques of facts, otherwise the conclusions can be wrong. The major limitations of statistics can be understood as follows-

Statistics can be used only in those studies in which it is possible to explain the facts in the form of numbers. 

Statistics can be used only for the study of classes and not in the context of individual values. Statistics cannot be given with reference to individual units nor can much information be obtained.


The conclusions that are obtained on the basis of statistics do not have much credibility.

This limitation of statistics indicates that whatever results are obtained by statistics, they often remain in the form of average values. Where on the one hand statistics give the most important place to the average, on the other hand the average values ​​are not useful in the long run. The mean value is always changing, as well as it explains a general trend.

To make proper use of statistics in research work, special knowledge is necessary. It is very important to have proper knowledge of compilation, tabulation, analysis and interpretation of facts on the basis of statistics.


It is not beneficial to use statistics in the research methods of deep study because clear conclusions cannot be obtained regarding the subtle phenomena of life in deep study subjects. Under this type of study style, only personal study and participatory observation methods can be effective which clarifies the real conditions.

Statistics is not a perfect method, the results obtained using statistics can be considered true only when their authenticity is confirmed by other sources.

The work of statistics is to compile and present the data and not to reach any conclusion. Through statistics, we get only some facts, on the basis of which the problem solving work is done by the researcher. If the researcher himself is not qualified and skilled, then he cannot reach any useful conclusion. Anyone can use them as a result if they want.