# The Penetration of Statistics in Society

 By: Robert Duval
 Statistics are such an integral part of modern lives that sometimes it isn't realized. The prediction of the winner of a presidential race or the local mayoral contest depends upon inferential statistics, one of the two main branches of statistics. The other branch of statistics is that of descriptive statistics. This is how to determine which baseball player in the American League had the best batting average in a single season. The information which is available on the internet today probably exceeds that of any other time in history. Research is possible and for those who enjoy sports or for whom sports betting are a recreational activity, they certainly use statistics in arriving at decisions as to which team to back or which horse to bet on.For others, it's important to understand where to find help with statistics in order to make good decisions based on the information which is collected and categorized. Statistics help can be obtained from many different places and in many forms. Probably the most important decision to be made in pursuing decision based on statistics is where to find the raw data. Advanced sampling techniques assist in many studies, but it's important to understand that a poor sample means results are not dependable. For the student who is attempting to understand the subject, they can find help in textbooks, on line classes or through a tutor. The level of instruction ranges from very simple explanations to assistance in preparing for advanced examinations which require statistics understanding. For anyone in business, a basic statistics class is a great idea. It will give you an understanding of how to go about gathering information, categorizing it and how to use it to answer common business questions. If you need statistics help just to have an understanding of how various types of statistical gathering works, classroom or textbook learning is probably the best way to approach the subject. Of course, you will have a significant amount of time and learning involved in understanding the basics.Another way to get statistics help is to hire a consultant to do the work that you need to have done. This solution is inconvenient at best, and sometimes expensive, plus it may mean almost as much work determining that exact information which is needed as it will to go ahead and complete the project for which you need the information. If you must determine where to find the qualified consultant and gather the information needed to coordinate the project, you may still need to spend time in ensuring that the consultant understands the nature of the question you need answered.Another alternative for obtaining statistics help is through the software programs and spreadsheet programs now available for computers. Most of the spreadsheet programs have statistical functions built in for such things as standard deviation, averages, median of a range and some of the other more common formulas. Most of these formulas also have a help feature which will explain the functions in enough detail so that you can determine how to accomplish the capturing of the information which you require.
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