The word statistics has three different meanings (sense) which are discussed below:
(1) Plural Sense (2) Singular Sense (3) Plural of the word “Statistic”
(1) Plural Sense:
In plural sense, the word statistics refer to numerical facts and figures collected in a systematic manner with a definite purpose in any field of study. In this sense, statistics are also aggregates of facts which are expressed in numerical form. For example, Statistics on industrial production, statistics or population growth of a country in different years etc.
(2) Singular Sense:
In singular sense, it refers to the science comprising methods which are used in collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation of numerical data. These methods are used to draw conclusion about the population parameter.
For Example: If we want to have a study about the distribution of weights of students in a certain college. First of all, we will collect the information on the weights which may be obtained from the records of the college or we may collect from the students directly. The large number of weight figures will confuse the mind. In this situation we may arrange the weights in groups such as: “50 Kg to 60 Kg” “60 Kg to 70 Kg” and so on and find the number of students fall in each group. This step is called a presentation of data. We may still go further and compute the averages and some other measures which may give us complete description of the original data.
(3) Plural of Word “Statistic”:
The word statistics is used as the plural of the word “Statistic” which refers to a numerical quantity like mean, median, variance etc…, calculated from sample value.
For Example: If we select 15 student from a class of 80 students, measure their heights and find the average height. This average would be a statistic.