Statisticians analyse and interpret data to make predictions in many different areas – from meteorology to economics.
What is statistics?
Statistics is all about collecting and analysing data to draw conclusions and make predictions. It’s a mathematical science used in areas like biology, business, economics, engineering, medicine, public health, psychology, marketing, education, and professional sport.
Statistical techniques provide information to assist decision making across economic, social, political, and military fields.
Statistics is part of our everyday life. Statements like ‘What are the chances that it will rain today?’ and ‘What’s the likelihood that my football team will win?’ are more common than most people realise.
What do statisticians actually do?
Statisticians apply their technical knowledge to design surveys and experiments. They collect, process, analyse and interpret data. Statisticians help to determine what information is reliable and which predictions can be trusted.
They use data analysis, statistical knowledge, computing, and communication skills to tackle real world problems. Examples of projects statisticians work on include:
- tracking fluctuations in the economy,
- following employment rates and patterns,
- identifying population trends,
- measuring changes in the environment,
- identifying successful sports strategies,
- developing and evaluating casino games, and
- verifying the safety and economic viability of new drugs, nuclear power plants or alternative energy sources.
Did you know: The medicines we take when we’re sick are only available because statistics have shown them to be effective and safe.
Where do statisticians work?
Statistics uses mathematics, but it is not abstract or isolated. Statisticians work with people from other professions to solve practical problems. They work in a range of areas including:
- environmental modelling,
- the financial sector,
- market research,
- science, and
- research institutes.
To be a statistician what type of person do I need to be?
A career in statistics may be for you, if you:
- enjoy problem solving,
- like making predictions and drawing conclusions from data,
- designing experiments,
- working with large volumes of data,
- working individually and as part of a team.