The Role of Statistics in Research


Why Study Statistics?
is the science of collecting, analyzing and making inference from data. Statistics is a particularly useful branch of mathematics that is not only studied theoretically by advanced mathematicians but one that is used by researchers in many fields to organize, analyze, and summarize data.  Statistical methods and analyses are often used to communicate research findings and to support hypotheses and give credibility to research methodology and conclusions.  It is important for researchers and also consumers of research to understand statistics so that they can be informed, evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information, and make appropriate decisions.    
statistics cartoon


Statistics in Action

Some of the major purposes of statistics are to help us understand and describe phenomena in our world and to help us draw reliable conclusions about those phenomena.  Below you will find video clips highlighting various phenomena.  Based on the information presented in these videos, what are some conclusions you might draw?  What hypotheses can be made?  Who do you think would be interested in information like this? What are the implications for future research?  What information shown in the videos supports those implications?

Poor beats rich in MDG race from Gapminder Foundation on Vimeo.


Facebook Statistics from eduFire on Vimeo.



The information in the steps listed below can be used when planning and conducting your research.  It can also be used to evaluate the research of others when completing your literature review.
 data flow
Steps in the Data Analysis Process

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