Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsCHRIS STEVENSON: Hello, and welcome back to week two of Why Numbers Matter. This week will be all about statistics and what they mean for you and your community. Statistics allow us to understand, describe, and explore patterns.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 secondsNICK BARTER: They provide us with important insights that help us to preempt how our decisions could impact on other people, as well as evidence that can make our workplaces more efficient, and our communities fairer and safer places to live.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsCHRIS STEVENSON: Join us this week to learn how, with a bit of grit and determination, you can use statistics to help make important decisions and understand the world around us.

Welcome to Week 2

The week we’re going to take a look at how we can use statistics to make decisions.

Statistics give you a detailed understanding of the big picture by taking a look at a portion of it up close.

Statistics involves a process of collecting, organising and analysing numerical data from a small section that can be used to stand in for a bigger picture. You can then devise tests that will tell you how your measurements are dispersed across your sample, if something causes something else and the strength of the relationship between them.

We’ll be using Google Sheets to give you an opportunity to see the data we’ve been using to illustrate these concepts, as well as to practise calculations. You’re welcome to follow along using Google Sheets, however, there are a number of options available to you. We’ll provide you with a more comprehensive list at the end of the week.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the week, you’ll be able to:

  • apply statistical analysis to make decisions about real-world problems
  • interpret bivariate correlations.

Your task

Tell us what you’re interested in learning about this week, and how it might help with your research problem.

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This video is from the free online course:

Why Numbers Matter: Quantitative Research

Deakin University