You know that to get started on your academic IT career pathway you’ll need to learn certain software, develop technology skills, and become familiar with math. One type of mathematics that you’ll need to be proficient in is statistics. Learn it well and you’ll be one step closer to the IT college degree of your dreams!
Statistics: What is It?
The study of statistics (stats) deals with data. Specifically, it deals with the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It helps people recognize patterns and make decisions based upon that data.
Statistics is used all the time in information technology to track user trends, implement the testing of software, and organize the backend of websites.
How Different People Use Statistics
- Finance professionals use trend analysis and correlation to make economic forecasts
- Doctors and health care workers use published statistics to figure out which treatments and medications are the safest and most effective
- The government gathers and organizes data to be included in the U.S. Census
- Citizens use their knowledge of statistics to interpret polls and determine how well it represents the population
How IT Professionals Use Statistics
Below are just two examples of IT workers—and how they use statistics to do their jobs.
- Business Intelligence Analyst: Business Intelligence Analysts inspect, clean, transform and model data with the goal of highlighting useful information, suggesting conclusions and supporting decision making. They tell a story using data.
- Software Engineer: Software engineers use statistics to ensure a systematic, controlled, quantifiable approach to creating, operating and maintain software. Testing is a major part of the software design process. Software engineers process data to test the reliability of the software they’re creating.
Fun with Stats
Here are some resources that might clarify statistics and make it a little more fun:
- The Math is Mesmerizing site (IXL) has interactive questions and answers. Just look for either “probability” or “statistics” for grades up through 9th grade. Try it; you will like it! I tested it out for you, and it’s fun. If you don’t get the answer it shows you how to which makes it pain-free. Note: The site does allow you to complete up to 20 questions per day for free. After that it is subscription based. The prices are fairly reasonable and I haven’t seen a site this comprehensive and fun in a while.
- This “Statistics Help” website features cheat sheets, definitions, video tutorials and Statistics “humor”
- This blog, “Information is Beautiful,” features unique interpretations of data—graphs and charts expressed in colorful and artistic ways
- This Department of Education website contains mostly teaching materials, but you may find it helpful if you want to get ahead
And, if you have a little bit of time to hear from Dr. Arthur Benjamin on why statistics is one of the most enjoyable and challenging (in a cool way) to prepare you for other types of math, then watch this video.
This is an an hour long video. However, you can fast forward it to hear the specifics on stats. (Click on the image to start the video.)