Welcome to the Age of Statisticians ... Has Anyone Seen Them Recently?

Truth has a rhythm. It’s detectable by means, standard deviations, and regression lines—the time-signatures of statistics. Understanding how statistics detects these rhythms is fascinating. That’s why many of us non-statisticians still enjoyed our introductory classes on the subject.

A friend of mine recently told me of her experience researching possible inequities in how criminal sentences are handed down to differing economic groups. When she worked as a public defender, she must have sensed this disparity; now as a researcher for a non-profit organization, she’d like to prove it. The only problem, she said, is that she’s first and foremost a lawyer, and only now, secondarily, is she trying to become a statistician.

She isn’t alone in feeling this pressure. Like many of us, she took introductory courses in statistics and research methodology, but those classes prepare one to be literate in the field, not necessarily a daily practitioner of the science. The architect of her curriculum probably didn’t anticipate that she, and her fellow graduates, would within a decade be thrust into a work environment where analyzing and crunching raw data is part of the job description.

What now goes for lawyers also goes for marketers, journalists, doctors, and likely one day even historians—anyone seeking to know the truths of the human condition. Statistics will be essential. Now that structured and unstructured data is so readily collectible at so many points, the need to analyze data will grow greatly, very shortly.

We don’t have enough statisticians in the world to handle the need, but more are coming. The American Statistics Association said in a February press release that statistics is the fastest-growing undergraduate degree within science, technology, engineering, and math. Many institutions are adding programs in statistics, the release goes on to say. However, a dearth in statistics talent, for now, is inevitable.

Statistics Using Excel Succinctly

Until the number of statisticians is on par with the amount of data collected, non-statisticians will have to take up the slack. Syncfusion’s latest release from the Succinctly series, Statistics Using Excel, is a concise way become reacquainted with statistics by way of the power of Excel. You can find the publication free in Kindle format or PDF at our Technology Portal.