Statistics helps you find the truth


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 18 May 2017
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of Getty Images

How to establish whether a story is real or fake? How to be sure that what you read is reliable data? Research has shown that thanks to statistical data, one is more likely to identify what is true and what is not. This Is Statistics has created a guide with seven questions that enable the reader to achieve a better understanding of a story.

thumbnail image: Statistics helps you find the truth

Considerations on data and its sources are fundamental for this purpose: big organizations and academic environments are usually more reliable of course. A financial involvement adds even more credibility to the research; if a company invests money into something then chances are it is a serious matter. Also, how the data has been collected? If surveys have been used, who were the people they have been addressed to? A specific category implies that the research is attentive and well-targeted. Moreover, what is it that supports the study, what is its context? These and other questions will allow the reader to make his/her assessment of the news. And if they are accompanied by visual data, such as graphs and illustrations, they must be very accurate as well. Quartz and Fowing Data are worth keeping in mind in this case, as they can be used as guides.

Other websites that are quite useful are Sense about Science USA, Annenberg Public Policy Center’s, Factmata, and The Sunlight Foundation.

For more information check the website and learn more about the questions you need to keep in mind.

This Is Statistics.

Related Topics

Related Publications

Related Content

Site Footer


This website is provided by John Wiley & Sons Limited, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ (Company No: 00641132, VAT No: 376766987)

Published features on are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.