ASA President on International Year of Statistics


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 19 March 2013
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStock Photo

Professor Marie Davidian, President of the American Statistical Association has written an article on the International Year of Statistics for The Huffington Post.

thumbnail image: ASA President on International Year of Statistics

Davidian writes the article in mind to a reader with little or no background in statistics, emphasising the broad range that statistics can be applied to from the correct predictions of the 2012 presidential elections, to its fundamental use in clinical trials, scientific breakthroughs suchs as the existence of the Higgs Boson and surveys, whilst naming major institutions to familiarise the reader such as the Environment Protection Agency and the US Census Bureau who use statistics as a matter of course.

The timing for the International Year of Statistics, according to Davidian could not be at a better time. ‘The world is increasingly data driven and data dependent, and the avalanche of information being generated through online searches, electronic medical records, advances in genomic science, social networks, retail transactions, and remote sensing of the environment hold great potential for improving human health and business productivity and for guiding scientific discovery and public policy decision-making. Statisticians are essential to realizing the promise of this age of Big Data, ensuring that sound decisions are made and mitigating the threat of false discoveries.’ (The Huffington Post, 12th February 2013)

Davidian also alludes to Google Chief Economist Hal Varian’s now immortal line that statistics is sexy and confirms the need for statisticians in years to come and the job opportunities that will be available. ‘It is this data deluge that has made statistics "sexy." A 2011 McKinsey Global Institute study projects demand for 140,000 to 190,000 additional individuals with data analytic skills by 2018 in the U.S. alone, and 4 million worldwide. The opportunities for statisticians abound.’ (The Huffington Post, 12th February 2013)

For the full article, please visit here.

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