“Statistics is the grammar of science.”
– Karl Pearson
Etymology and Milestones of Statistics in Global Level:
The term statistics originated in the West and was known by various names,such as ‘status’ in Latin, ‘statistik’ in German, ‘statisque’ in French. It is said that Gottfried Achenwall used the word ‘statistik’ in 1749 to describe the political science of different countries. All these names in short mean to describe the political state.The first book to have statistics as its title was ‘Contributions to vital Statistics’ by Francis GP Neison in 1845. It was to prepare a systematic study of birth and death related data.The monumental contribution to the subject of statistics can be attributed to R.A. Fisher (1890-1962) who was able to apply statistics to a variety of fields
such as Biometry, Genetics, Psychology,
Education, Agriculture and others.Besides he is also known as the pioneer of estimation theory, analysis of variance,and design of experiments. Hence he is known as the father of Statistics.
Evolution of Statistics in India:
E v i d e n c e from history proves that during the reign of Chandra Gupta Maurya, there existed a system of maintaining vital Statistics,i n c l u d i n G registration of births and deaths. Such records can be found in Kautilya’s Arthashastra even before 300B.C. The book “Ain-e-Akbari” (1596-97) mentions the statistical and administrative surveys conducted during Akbar’s rule. P.C.Mahalanobis is known as the founder of modern statistics and also as father of Statistics in India. Since 2007 29th of June every year is celebrated as Statistics Day to commemorate his birth anniversary.
Definitions of Statistics:
The term ‘Statistics’ is used in two senses: as singular and plural. In singular
form it simply means statistical methods.
Statistics when used in singular form helps in the collection, presentation,classification and interpretation of data to make it easily comprehensible. In its plural form it denotes collection of numerical figures and facts. In the narrow sense it has been defined as the science of counting and science of averages.
Characteristics and Functions of Statistics:
i) Statistics are an aggregate of facts.For example, numbers in a calendar pertaining to a year will not be called statistics, but to be included in statistics it should contain a series of figures with relationships for a prolonged period.
ii) Statistics are numerically enumerated,
estimated and expressed.
iii) Statistical collection should be systematic with a predetermined purpose: The purpose of collection of statistics should be determined beforehand in order to get accurate information.
iv) Should be capable of being used as a
technique for drawing comparison:It should be capable of drawing comparison between two different sets of data by tools such as averages, ratios,rates, coefficients etc.