The Role and Cons of Statistics

The Role and Cons of Statistics




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The Role and Cons of Statistics

Statistics is the methodology or the science of collecting, analysis, interpreting and making inference from collected data. Statistics is method used in various fields to organize, analyze, summarize and interpret collected data. Statistics is often used in doing research to give meaning to research findings and support research methodology and findings. Without statistics it would be hard to make sense of the t jumble that is collected data.

According to Spiegel & Stephens (2011) statistics is made up of methods that are responsible for collecting and analyzing data. This shows that statistics is more than just tables and other forms of tabulations but it plays a crucial role in making sense of numerical and grouped data.

Statistics helps to answer some of the following questions?

There are two types of statistics: Inferential statistics that consists of methods that helps to draw conclusions about information collected on a population sample. Another type of statistics is descriptive that consists of methods responsible for organizing and summarizing data.

  1. How much and what kind of data is supposed to be collected?
  2. How to organize and summarize data
  3. How can we interpret data?

Why Study Statistics?

Statistics plays a crucial role in various sectors of society especially when it comes to decision making. In sectors such as medicine, economy and education. But statistics plays even a greater role in research. Statistics helps to bring efficiency, validity and analysis in research.

Validity is one of the most important requirement of any research project because it helps to determine whether a project is worth undertaking and spending money on. Statistics help to give validity to a research by ensuring that it answers the research questions.

Another role of statistics is that it gives efficiency to a research and helps to determine if it is making good use of the resources. Statistics helps to get precise answers to research questions and this is important for any experiment.

However there are limitations that are associated with the use of statistics such as statistical can be manipulated to give a deceptive conclusion for example by asking inappropriate questions and doctoring opinion polls to mislead the public and in the same way statistics can be easily misinterpreted. The whole process of using statistics requires technical expertise to collect, analyze, summarize and interpret data and many people may not have these kind of skills (Bynner & Stribley, 2010).

Finally, the use of statistics is time –consuming because it involves forming data collection teams, liaising with various departments before data can be analyzed and interpreted. Thus it may not be effective if information is urgently needed to help in decision making.


Bynner, J. M., & Stribley, K. M. (2010). Research design: The logic of social inquiry. New Brunswick: AldineTransaction.

Spiegel, M. R., & Stephens, L. J. (2011). Statistics. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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