FUNCTIONS OF STATISTICS
Statistics are numerical statement of facts capable of analysis and interpretation as well as study of the methods used in collection, organization, presentation, analysis and interpretation of numerical data.
ACCORDING TO ROBERT W BURGESS
“The fundamental gospel of statistics is to push back the domain of ignorance, prejudice, rule of thumb, arbitrary or premature decisions, traditions and dogmatism and to increase the domain in which decisions are made and principles are formulated on the basis of analyzed quantitative facts.”
Thus, the following are functions of statistics:
PRESENTATION OF FACTS IN DEFINITE FORM
One of the functions of statistics is presentation of facts in definite form. Statistics helps in presenting the complex facts in definite form to the users.
Statistics makes use of various analysis techniques to present the collected data in the useful and definite form.
EXAMPLE: Suppose the statement is ‘Population of India is increasing day by day’, this statement is not statistics and does not convey any definite meaning. However with the help of the statistics collected we can say that ‘Population of India has increased from 102 crore in 2001 to 121 crore in 2011’. This statement is conveying the definite meaning about the rise of population.
STATISTICS PRESENT THE COMPLEX DATA IN EASY FORM
Statistics is also associated with the organisation and classification of the data. This is done to remove all the inconsistencies, irregularities out of the data and to give a clear view of the whole data.
ACCORDING TO A E WAUGH
“The purpose of statistical methods is to simplify great bodies of numerical data.”
The presentation of the data in the forms of graphs, charts, tables, diagrams, pie charts and bar graphs etc. make the data available in easy and understandable form.
EXAMPLE: It is impossible to present data about the income of every person of India but with the help of Statistics, incomes of all persons can be presented as ‘PER CAPITA INCOME.’
HELPFUL IN COMPARISONS
One of the functions of statistics is presentation f facts in definite form making the comparisons. The simplified data is compared with another set of data to give meaningful results.
ACCORDING TO BODDINGTON
“The object of statistics is to enable comparison to be made between past and present results with a view to ascertaining the reasons for changes which have been taken place and the effect of such changes in the future.”
Statistics facilitates inter-temporal, international comparisons as well as many other comparisons.
EXAMPLE: The growth and progress rate of Indian Economy from the date of independence to present times is an example of Inter-temporal comparison.
The rate of unemployment in Indian economy as compared to USA economy is a kind of international comparison.
HELPFUL IN ANALYSIS OF DATA
Statistics is helpful in the analysis of numerical data. The data collected is analysed with the use of techniques like
- Measure Of Central Tendency
- Measures Of Dispersion
- Interpolation And Extrapolation
- Probability Theory
FORMULATION AND TESTING OF HYPOTHESIS
Statistics is highly useful in the formulation and testing of the hypothesis. A researcher may formulate the hypothesis on the basis of the observation. The hypothesis is tested with the help of statistics and if the hypothesis is selected, a new theory comes into the existence.
EXAMPLE: The application of the Law of Demand may be verified with the help of the statistics.
HELPS IN POLICY FORMULATION
All the policies to be made or modified require some kind of data which is collected with the help of statistics. So, statistics helps in policy formulation. Statistics made available all the data which is required to study the intensity of the issue and policy can be formulated after taking into consideration all the relevant facts.
EXAMPLE: To frame the Poverty Alleviation policy, the statistics make the data available about the number of persons that live below poverty line, the amount of income earned by the residents, etc.
With the use of statistics in the field of industry, commerce, trade, agriculture, business and economy, policies are framed.
HELPFUL IN FORECASTING AND PREDICTION
Forecasting and Prediction is an important part of Statistics. All statistical techniques are helpful in prediction of future trends. The data collected helps in predicting about the behavior of the variables in the future.
EXAMPLE: The sale of the product can be predicted or forecasted on the basis of the statistical data collected on the market demand of the product.
The statistical techniques like Time Series Analysis, Extrapolation and Regression Analysis provide a scientific base for making predictions.
TO ENLARGE HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AND EXPEREINCE
Statistics helps in increasing the knowledge and experience of the human. The uses of the statistical techniques helps in gaining the knowledge about the new concepts and improve the power of reasoning in human beings.
ACCORDING TO PROF. AL BOWLEY
“The proper function of statistics, indeed, is to enlarge individual experience.”
HELPS IN MEASURING AFTER EFFECTS
Statistics are also helpful in measuring the after effects of the policies implemented. The policies can be reframed after considering the effects by analyzing and studying the previous subjects.
HELPFUL IN REALISING MAGNITUDE OF THE PROBLEM
Statistics is helpful in realizing the intensity or magnitude of the problem. It tells about the degree or severeness of the issue.
EXAMPLE: ‘Population has increased in India’ does not tell about the magnitude of the problem of population explosion. But the fact that population has increased to 121 crore truly conveys the intensity of the issue of population increase.