The year 2013 was designated as International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013) to create awareness about this area of mathematics which is used for analysis of data in soft sciences in a big way. As an applied mathematics, statistics is used around the world by governments, political parties, civil servants, financial companies, opinion-polling firms, social researchers, news organizations, and so much more, say Gerald Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy, the authors of the book "Statistics: Beyond the Numbers".
As the year ends, there is a flurry of activities like conferences and seminars on statistics in December. The last week of December has been declared as the World Week of Statistics to end Statistics2013 in a grand way. According to the organizers of Statistics2013, in the foregone week, the following conference were held: International Chinese Statistical Association (ICSA) International Conference in Hong Kong; National Seminar on Biostatistics and Data Analytics at Maharaja Sayajiaro University in Vadodara; International Conference on Statistics, Computer Science and Operations Research in Cairo; and International Year of Statistics at the 33rd Science Agriculture and Village Industry Fair in Hooghly.
According to the organizers, some more conferences during the last week of this month will be the International Conference on Recent Advances in Statistics and Their Applications in conjunction with the XXXIII annual convention of the Indian Society For Probability and Statistics at Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Department of Statistics in Aurangabad and the International Conference on Socio-Economic and Sustainable Challenges and Solutions at CR RAO Advanced Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science in Hyderabad. According to Gerald Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy, statistics is the science of learning from or making sense out of data and it deals with the theory and methods of extracting information from observational data for solving real-world problems. And, it needs to be seen as science of uncertainty as well as the quintessential interdisciplinary science to collect and analyze data in knowledge areas that touch our life.
Statistics is used mostly in soft sciences like medicines, Economics, Agriculture, Business, social sciences, psychology, Law enforcement, Weather forecasting, management science, astronomy, etc.
A higher education teacher, Lucy Irving says that teaching of statistics needs to be made interesting. "I’ve been teaching research methods in psychology for some time. Teaching statistics can be challenging; students say ‘stats’ are the scariest part of their degree. So I try to make sessions fun and engaging, finding myself rhyming and generally moving around a lot," she exemplifies.
Highlighting the outcome of Statistics2013, the Royal Statistical Society says, “Everyone’s talking about data: open data, big data, private data--it’s the latest buzzword to sweep through the sector. And it’s coming at us from all directions; from social media allowing us to see things in real time; digital avenues making it easier to combine data, interrogate it and react to it fast; and government at last opening up their data sets to outsiders, including us.”
Gerald Hahn and Necip Doganaksoy hold that Statistics is becoming more critical as academia, businesses, and governments come to rely on data-driven decisions, greatly expanding the demand for statisticians.