The Importance of Statistical Science
Every day, reports and news articles announce that we live in the era of “big data.” Advances in computing power and cloud technology, the rapid proliferation of technology enabled devices, and the sheer amount of human activity that is now captured and tracked by banks, stores, social media networks, fitness trackers, and navigation systems has created an explosion of data. There seem to be countless ways to gather information about the natural and digital worlds.
However, data is not the same as knowledge. Without context to understand what types of data are valuable, what makes data reliable, and what the data signify, data are useless. Moving forward, the field of statistics will be increasingly more fundamental to academia, business, and government in order to accommodate the escalating dependence on data-driven decisions.
What is Statistical Science?
The science of statistics is the science of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.
Long before the proliferation of data, scientists and decision makers in healthcare, government, and business relied on statistics. Statistical science is a branch of mathematics; it provides the theories and methods that are needed to appropriately plan experiments, collect reliable data, and arrive at accurate conclusions about results. Without statistics, there is much less certainty about which data and conclusions are trustworthy.