STATISTICS

Statistics are important to every sub discipline of applied science.

Statistics are scientific methods employed to gather, organise and analyse data. We are able to draw conclusions and make inferences on the basis of such analyses.

KEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS

Measurement methods

Measurements are used to quantify any phenomenon and involve a comparison with a standard value. There are four types of measurements:

1. Nominal – the use of names

2. Ordinal – the order in which things occur. eg. 1,2,3,4….

3. Interval – the ‘distance’ between two or more values. eg. differences in temperature.

4. Ratio – the relationship between two or more values. eg. differences in the height or weight of objects.

Data presentation

Statistical data can presented two main ways:

1. Tables – this is the presentation of data in rows and columns in a precise and unambiguous manner.

2. Graphs – these are visual representations of data to provide a clearer understanding than is possible with a table. Line graphs have vertical and horizontal axes that are useful for showing changing values. Bar graphs and pie charts are useful for comparing the relationship between different values.

Tables and graphs must always be clearly labeled with all relevant information such as units of measurement, dates, etc.

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