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Data is Sexy, Says Data Scientists

By | Mar 10th, 2014 08.32 AM | View all posts in Blog

Data research, while proven in value in some fields, is now becoming accepted in the corporate world. As more and more businesses are learning to rely on the use of analytics and data to push forward, statistical research is growing in demand in the market.

Misconceptions of Statistics

The field of statistics is be referred to by the term “analytics’ more often these days as some want to distance the field from all the misconceptions surrounding the field of statistics. They are often seen as accountants, and pie charts and bar graphs in articles are often falsely attributed to them. The truth, however, is that the world of statistics is a pursuit of knowledge from the data gathered through research gathered.

Statistical analysis is in fact a key component of the research process. Raw data gathered for a study doesn’t typically lend itself to easy interpretation. Therefore, statistical methods are utilized to translate the data and come up with the most accurate conclusions possible.

Statistical Uncertainty

With any study, the data will be mixed. Never does a result consistently repeat itself 100% of the time. For this reason we must have benchmarks as to how to decide what sort of statistical differences will be deemed significant or integral? What sort of success rate should be expected for a treatment to be considered a success? How many patients should participate in the study in order to ensure that the uncertainty of the study is kept to a minimum?

These are just a few of the questions addressed by statisticians, who use mathematical tools to approach the problem.

Statisticians often are involved in developing subject matter expertise, through their collaborative research. Their insights are highly valued.

Data Scientist
Image from: library.gatech.edu

Increasing Demand for Statistics

30 years ago, statisticians may have not seemed hugely necessary in the field of neuroscience research as the amount of data in that field was limited. With recent advancements in technology, however, there has been a big increase in the quality and quantity of data that is available. Thus the endless cycle of technology giving us richer and greater sources of information, and then tools have to come that allow us to better sift through and analyze the data using sophisticated techniques of analysis.

Enrollment in Statistics Courses Doubled

For students looking to get experience in being on the forefront of what’s going on in statistical analysis, enrollment in statistical courses has doubled. The learning methods of statistical analysis has increased a lot in recent years, driven in large part by employers who have seen tangible and significant gains from statistical analysis as it is applied to risk management, market research and quality control.

Statisticians Comfortable with Uncertainty

Statisticians’ tendency to refrain from making objective, concrete statements regarding the possible conclusions of their statistical findings is sometimes a source of frustration and criticism from those outside of the field. They are known rather to qualify their conclusions with honest confessions of the limitations that are present with their analysis procedures. Statisticians are okay being in that tension of uncertainty that is an inherent part of the process of data analysis.

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