Chapter 3

Tools of the Trade

In This Chapter

arrow Seeing statistics as a process, not just as numbers

arrow Gaining success with statistics in your everyday life, your career, and in the classroom

arrow Becoming familiar with some basic statistical jargon

In today’s world, the buzzword is data, as in, “Do you have any data to support your claim?” “What data do you have on this?” “The data supported the original hypothesis that … ,” “Statistical data show that … ,” and “The data bear this out … .” But the field of statistics is not just about data.

Remember: Statistics is the entire process involved in gathering evidence to answer questions about the world, in cases where that evidence happens to be data.

In this chapter, we give you an overview of the role statistics plays in today’s data-packed society and what you can do to not only survive but thrive. You’ll see firsthand how statistics works as a process and where the numbers play their part. You’re also introduced to the most commonly used forms of statistical jargon, and you find out how these definitions and concepts all fit together as part of that process. You get a much broader view of statistics as a partner in the scientific method ...

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