Statistics are not just numbers and facts. You know, things like 4 out of 5 dentists prefer a specific toothpaste. Instead, it’s an array of knowledge and procedures that allow you to learn from data reliably. Statistics allow you to evaluate claims based on quantitative evidence and help you differentiate between reasonable and dubious conclusions. That aspect is particularly vital these days because data are so plentiful along with interpretations presented by people with unknown motivations.
Statisticians offer critical guidance in producing trustworthy analyses and predictions. Along the way, statisticians can help investigators avoid a wide variety of analytical traps.
When analysts use statistical procedures correctly, they tend to produce accurate results. In fact, statistical analyses account for uncertainty and error in the results. Statisticians ensure that all aspects of a study follow the appropriate methods to produce trustworthy results. These methods include:
- Producing reliable data.
- Analyzing the data appropriately.
- Drawing reasonable conclusions.