You are on page 1of 4


What Is Statistics?



1 What is Statistics?

2 Who uses Statistics?

3 Type of Statistics

4 Types of Variables.

5 Levels of Measurements.


This chapter introduces the concepts of measures of central tendency and dispersions.
At the end of this chapter, you will be able to :

1. Understand why we study statistics..

2. Explain what is meant by descriptive statistics and inferential statistics.

3. Distinguish between a qualitative variable and a quantitative variable.

4. Distinguish between a discrete variable and a continuous variable.

5. Distinguish among the nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio levels

of measurement.

6. Define the terms mutually exclusive and exhaustive.

1 What is Statistics?
It is the science of collecting, organizing, presenting, analyzing, and
interpreting numerical data to assist in making more effective decisions.

2 Who Uses Statistics?

Statistical techniques are used extensively by marketing, accounting, quality
control, consumers, professional sports people, hospital administrators,
educators, politicians, physicians, etc...

3 Types of Statistics
• Descriptive Statistics
• Inferential Statistics

3.1 Descriptive Statistics

refers to the methods of organizing, summarizing, and presenting data in an
informative way.

A Gallup poll found that 49% of the people in a survey knew the name of the
first book of the Bible. The statistic 49% describes the number out of every
100 persons who knew the answer.

According to Consumer Reports, General Electric washing machine owners
reported 9 problems per 100 machines during 2001. The statistic 9 describes
the number of problems out of every 100 machines.

3.2 Inferential Statistics

A decision, estimate, prediction, or generalization about a population, based
on a sample.

A population is a collection of all possible individuals, objects, or

measurements of interest.

A sample is a portion, or part, of the population of interest

TV networks constantly monitor the popularity of their programs by hiring
Nielsen and other organizations to sample the preferences of TV viewers.

The accounting department of a large firm will select a sample of the invoices
to check for accuracy for all the invoices of the company.

Wine tasters sip a few drops of wine to make a decision with respect to all the
wine waiting to be released for sale.
4 Types of Variables

4.1 Qualitative or Attribute variable

the characteristic being studied is nonnumeric.

Gender, religious affiliation, type of automobile owned, state of birth, eye
color etc.

4.2 Quantitative variable

Information is reported in numeric terms.

The balances in your checking account, minutes remain in a lesson, number
of children in a family.

Quantitative variable can be further classified into

4.2.1 Discrete Variable

can only assume certain values and there are usually “gaps” between values.

the number of bedrooms in a house, or the number of hammers sold at
the local Home Depot (1,2,3,…,etc).

4.2.2 Continuous Variable

can assume any value within a specified range.

The pressure in a tyre, the weight of a pork chop, or the height of a



Q u a lit a t iv e Qo r u a a t nt r t i ib t au t t i ev e o r n u m e r ic a l
( t y p e o f c a r o w n e d )

d is c r e t e c o n t in u o u s
( n u m b e r o f ( t c i mh i el d rt ae kn e) n f o r a n e x

5 Levels of Measurement
There are four levels of measurements:
5.1 Nominal Level
Data that is classified into categories and cannot be arranged in any particular

EXAMPLES: eye color, gender, religious affiliation.

Data in this category are mutually exclusive

Mutually Exclusive
An individual, object or measurement is included in only one category.

Each individual, object or measurement must appear in a category.

5.2 Ordinal Level

Involves data arranged in some order, but the difference between values
cannot be determined or are meaningless.

During a test of 4 soft drinks, Mellow Yellow was ranked number 1, Sprite
number 2, Seven-Up number 3 and Orange Crush number 4.
Here we can conclude that Mellow Yellow is preferred to Sprite, but we
cannot conclude how much better is Mellow Yellow over Sprite.

5.3 Interval Level

similar to ordinal level, with the additional property that meaningful amount of
differences between data values can be determined. There is no zero point,
that is, the value zero on the scale does not represent the absence of the

EXAMPLE: Temperature, Shoe Size

5.4 Ratio Level

the interval level with an inherent zero starting point. Difference and ratios
are meaningful.
the zero point here means the absence of the property.

EXAMPLE: Monthly income of surgeons, distance traveled by

manufacturer’s representative per month.