If you are a sports fan, chances are you have made statements about the winning or losing team. Die-hard fans may rattle off historical information about the success or failure of certain teams. Others may place bets during a championship game hoping to win “the pot” for their selection.
Millions of people play the lottery everyday hoping to win the “jack pot”. There are many instances or people crossing the state boarder to play the lottery, because their resident state has not legalized lotteries. Someone always has the winning ticket, but out of millions of participants, the odds of winning are against you.
Today you may feel like you have a lucky streak, so you decide to try your luck out in a Las Vegas casino. People cross the globe just to win in Las Vegas. Many have success and even more don’t. Who profits more the casino or the people trying their luck? Of course the casino or it would be closed down.
All of the examples mentioned above are the chances of success or the probability of success. In other words, chance is a mathematical probability of success or failure. These examples mentioned are for everyday people, something to do just for fun, unless you are over extending your finances for that “one shot” of success.
What about businesses such as telecommunication, finance, or retail. These businesses have employees that receive regular paychecks and customers who purchase products or services. It is necessary for a business to have a competitive edge in order to meet their return on investment (ROI) and to have marketing strategies in place to ensure they are targeting the correct customers for maximum success of purchase and reduced company expenditures.
Every business should be concern with customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and customer retention because these concepts are what drive profit. In today’s challenging economy and competitive business world, retaining your customers is critical to your success. You must give customers reasons to stay, otherwise your competitor with give them a reason to leave. If you have dissatisfied employees are they going to give you everything they have, take pride in their job, and help drive business to your company? All it takes is for one customer to be offended and they will tell their friends about how badly they were treated.
Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. Statistics provides tools for prediction and forecasting based on the data. Statistical methods can be used to summarize a collection of data. Patterns in the data may be modeled in a way that accounts for uncertainty in the observations, and are then used to draw estimations about the population of interest.
Statistics can be misused by finding ways to interpret the data that are favorable to the presenter. In my experience, if that is done, it always come back to “bite you in the butt”. I am amazed of the many different non-statistical disciplines that are hired to do statistical work in the business world. As mentioned, statistics is a mathematical science and only educated and trained statisticians should be considered for helping to grow and/or save your business. I mean you would only go to a doctor to save your life and not say a first grade school teacher.
Statistical consulting is the most challenging and rewarding part of statistics. A statistical consultant uses the mathematical science of statistics to solve a practical problem. Many statistical consultants run their own business, and to be successful should have a technical background in statistics and an entrepreneur spirit.
You may need a statistical consultant for the following:
Do you have questions about statistics in general or need statistical tutoring or statistical consulting?
Do you want statistics explained to you in simple terms using concrete examples?
Do you need to learn what design of experiment will best answer your question?
Do you need to develop models to estimate the present or predict the future?
Do you need help using a statistical software package such as SAS?
Would you like help interpreting your statistical output and drawing conclusions from your data?
Do you have data with non-normal patterns?
Would you like help in preparing tables, listings, and graphs for your report?
Do you need help combining qualitative and quantitative research methods, data collection, or data analysis?
Would you like help designing a survey or questionnaire?
Would you like help with the appropriate sample size determination?
Would you like help with data mining?
Do you need help with technical writing?
Would you like the assistance of a statistical consultant at a conference or summit?
Melinda Richmond is the founder of Statistical & Analytical Research Associates, LLC. She has a master of statistics degree from North Carolina State University and for nearly twenty years has dedicated her education and career to learning the mathematical science of statistics. You can learn more by visiting the following website: