Stats are everywhere these days. They’re used to describe almost every aspect of life. But did you ever stop to think how much information we actually have access to? How many different sources of statistics are out there? And how do we make sense of all this data? Let’s see these tips to help you understand everything about the stats.
Today I’m going to share some tips to help you understand everything there is to know about stats.
1. Know What Statistics Are Used For
Statistics are used for so many things! Here are just a few examples:
- Predict future trends.
- Identify problems before they happen.
- Measure progress over time.
- Compare results between groups.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of policies and procedures.
- Analyze user behavior.
- Detect fraud.
You can learn more about the uses of statistics here.
2. Understand How Different Types of Statistics Can Be Created
Different types of statistics exist. There are descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, predictive statistics, and experimental statistics. One of the tips to help you understand everything about the stats.
Descriptive statistics tell us something about a group of individuals based on their characteristics. Examples of descriptive statistics include the mean, median, mode, standard deviation, skewness, kurtosis, and range.
Inferential statistics let us draw conclusions about a population based on samples drawn from that population. Examples of inferential statistics include regression analysis, correlation, and hypothesis testing.
Predictive statistics allow us to estimate the probability of certain events occurring in the future. Examples of predictive statistics include forecasting and probabilistic reasoning.
3. Know Which Numbers Matter
In general, the higher the number, the better. However, sometimes numbers matter differently depending on the stat being measured. For example, a high batting average doesn’t necessarily mean a hitter is going to hit a lot of homeruns. Similarly, a low assist count doesn’t necessarily mean a player won’t contribute to his team’s offensive output.
4. Understand Why Certain Stats Matter More Than Others
Some stats are easier to interpret than others. For example, a pitcher’s ERA tells you how he did overall, but it doesn’t say anything about how he fared against specific teams. On the other hand, a pitcher’s win–loss record shows exactly how he performed against individual opponents.
5. Use Common Sense When Applying Statistics
Don’t let stats overwhelm common sense. Sometimes, a stat can mislead you. For example, a player may have a low batting average, but he still managed to drive in plenty of runs. Or a pitcher might have a high ERA, but he also pitched a shutout.
6. Don’t Overlook Small Differences
Sometimes small differences between stats can make all the difference. For example, a quarterback’s completion percentage may seem like a meaningless statistic, but it actually says a lot about how well he performs under pressure.
7. Think About the Context of the Stat
For example, a.300 batting average may sound impressive, but it only matters if you consider the context of the situation. If you play for a team that struggles to score runs, a.300 batting avg. may look pretty bad. Conversely, if you play for a team whose main objective is to put together a winning season, hitting.300 may really be great.