Statistical Abracadabra

PAUL DUKE Written by PAUL DUKE · 1 min read >

I had at different times in my educational life been taught statistics, usually as a subset of mathematics and mostly just mean median and mode type of calculations and sets. I found statistics kind of interesting but also a tad confusing.

In University, we had to take a mathematics course and one statistical course, so I was reintroduced to statistics after secondary school. I was determined to conquer it this time. As exam drew close, I solved question after question, applied principle after principle and was determined to succeed.

On the day of the exam, we all crowded into the lecture theatre to put in our best. With trepidation we waited for the examination paper to be distributed. It was eventually placed upside down on each of our desks and after a while, the invigilator indicated that we could start.

We all gingerly turned the paper over, and a palpable silence overcame the exam hall, a pin could drop, and the echo would be profound. After a moment, a buzz of noise went round the hall. We were all astounded.

All the questions were definitions. Define mean? Difference between median and mode? Those kinds of questions. All our calculations and preparation had been in vain. We were short of wailing. It was more annoying that we all knew these definitions mathematically but to put it in writing was what we discovered was an arduous task.  We eventually figured it out.

I graduated; life happened. I met up with statistics again for master’s in risks analysis and after that I thought I was done with statistics. Then Lagos Business school happened.

Data Analytics and we were reintroduced to statistics by the formidable Doctor Bongo Adi. His teaching style is impeccable and exemplary. He practices the promise of the US marines “no man is left behind”

He painstakingly takes his time to explain the principles and gets the student to actively participate in the solution of problems and where anyone is lost, he doesn’t hesitate to go back and take the process step by step until everyone is on the same page.

I realized statistics is in every part of our lives. In everything we do and every decision we take, there are always several possible outcomes, some outcomes may have a higher chance

Most times we take decisions or act on impulse without considering other possibilities and now we are being equipped to apply statistical principles in our jobs, businesses and our lives. We are now realizing that every consideration should be given to even outcomes that seem not likely to occur.

Statistical principles may be mathematically based but its application cuts across every discipline and it is used extensively in medical studies, weather forecasting, financial and economic markets prediction and sports.

Statistics is qualitative and quantitative; it consists of numeric and non-numeric data.  It is vital in many progresses made my mankind especially as we progress in science, robotics and artificial intelligence development. Statistics is vital for our future.


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