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Singular and Plural Meaning of Statistics

The history of statistics may be dated to several thousand years ago. But day by day the word ‘statistics’ has become more popular and widely used. The word ‘statistics’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘status’, German word ‘statistik’ and the Italian word ‘statista’. All denote the same meaning that is a political state. In ancient times, the government used to collect the information regarding the size of the population in the country, property of the country, military force, etc. So, in those days, statistics was considered as the science of statecraft. But at present, statistics are used by the economist, managers, scientist, politicians, etc. So these days, there is hardly a place where statistics are not used. The word ‘statistics’ can be used both singulars as well as plural sense.

Singular Sense:
In a singular sense, it means the science of counting or science of average. This definition has the following features:

  1. Collection of data:
    Most of the statistical analysis is performed on the basis of collected data. The methods of data collection like primary and secondary, census and sampling, etc. are related to data collection.
  2. Organization of data:
    After collecting data, a systematic arrangement is essential. They are organized and presented in the table on the basis of rows and columns. This process is known as a presentation of data.
  3. Analysis of data:
    The organized data presented need to be analyzed. There are various tools of analysis in statistics like average, co-relation, regression, dispersion, etc.
  4. Interpretation of data:
    After analysis, results are interpreted and conclusions are drawn. IT is the last and most essential part of the work. If findings are interpreted wrongly, the wrong conclusion is obtained.

Plural Sense:
In the plural sense, it refers to the numerical facts and figures systematically collected for some special purpose. This definition has the following features:

  1. Statistics are aggregate of facts:
    In statistics, the single numerical figure has no meaning. It is not statistics. The numerical figures of production, income, price of commodities, students of the class, etc. are statistics.
  2. The values of statistics are numerically expressed:
    The values of statistics are countable as well as numerically expressed. For example, the numbers of students at Siddhartha College in grade 11 are 400. Among them 264 are female and 136 are male, which constitute statistics.
  3. Statistics are collected in a systematic manner:
    Firstly, we have to think about the field of study. Then, data should be collected by applying suitable methods and work should be carried out in a systematic manner. Otherwise, interpretation and conclusion may be wrong or misleading.
  4. Statistics are collected for a pre-determined purpose:
    We must have a well-defined purpose, specific aims, and objectives before we collect data. Suppose, if we want to compare the performance of students in grade XI in Siddhartha College in one subject or more, we must specify the subject and the year, for which comparison is carried out.
  5. Statistics makes easy to comparison:
    The collected numerical data constitute statistics if they are comparable. To make a valid comparison, the data should be homogeneous. For example, the passed number of students of Siddhartha College and other College constitute statistics, as they are comparable. But the weight of the students and their intelligence do not constitute statistics as they are not comparable.