SUBJECT: BUSINESS STATISTICS
COURSE CODE: MC-106 LESSON: 01 AUTHOR: SURINDER KUNDU VETTER: DR. B. S. BODLA
AN INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS STATISTICS
The aim of the present lesson is to enable the students to understand the meaning, definition, nature, importance and limitations of statistics.
“A knowledge of statistics is like a knowledge of foreign language of algebra; it may prove of use at any time under any circumstance”……………………………………...Bowley.
1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.10 Introduction Meaning and Definitions of Statistics Types of Data and Data Sources Types of Statistics Scope of Statistics Importance of Statistics in Business Limitations of statistics Summary Self-Test Questions Suggested Readings
For a layman, ‘Statistics’ means numerical information expressed in quantitative terms. This information may relate to objects, subjects, activities, phenomena, or regions of space. As a matter of fact, data have no limits as to their reference, coverage, and scope. At the macro level, these are data on gross national product and shares of agriculture, manufacturing, and services in GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
At the micro level, individual firms, howsoever small or large, produce extensive statistics on their operations. The annual reports of companies contain variety of data on sales, production, expenditure, inventories, capital employed, and other activities. These data are often field data, collected by employing scientific survey techniques. Unless regularly updated, such data are the product of a one-time effort and have limited use beyond the situation that may have called for their collection. A student knows statistics more intimately as a subject of study like economics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and others. It is a discipline, which scientifically deals with data, and is often described as the science of data. In dealing with statistics as data, statistics has developed appropriate methods of collecting, presenting, summarizing, and analysing data, and thus consists of a body of these methods.
MEANING AND DEFINITIONS OF STATISTICS
In the beginning, it may be noted that the word ‘statistics’ is used rather curiously in two senses plural and singular. In the plural sense, it refers to a set of figures or data. In the singular sense, statistics refers to the whole body of tools that are used to collect data, organise and interpret them and, finally, to draw conclusions from them. It should be noted that both the aspects of statistics are important if the quantitative data are to serve their purpose. If statistics, as a subject, is inadequate and consists of poor methodology, we could not know the right procedure to extract from the data the information they contain. Similarly, if our data are defective or that they are inadequate or inaccurate, we could not reach the right conclusions even though our subject is well developed. A.L. Bowley has defined statistics as: (i) statistics is the science of counting, (ii) Statistics may rightly be called the science of averages, and (iii) statistics is the science of measurement of social organism regarded as a whole in all its mani-
festations. Boddington defined as: Statistics is the science of estimates and probabilities. Further, W.I. King has defined Statistics in a wider context, the science of Statistics is the method of judging collective, natural or social phenomena from the results obtained by the analysis or enumeration or collection of estimates. Seligman explored that statistics is a science that deals with the methods of collecting, classifying, presenting, comparing and interpreting numerical data collected to throw some light on any sphere of enquiry. Spiegal defines statistics highlighting its role in decision-making particularly under uncertainty, as follows: statistics is concerned with scientific method for collecting, organising, summa rising,...
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