Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments.
A statistician is someone who is particularly well-versed in the ways of thinking necessary for the successful application of statistical analysis. Such people have often gained experience through working in any of a wide number of fields. There is also a discipline called mathematical statistics that studies statistics mathematically.
The word statistics, when referring to the scientific discipline, is singular, as in "Statistics is an art." This should not be confused with the word statistic, referring to a quantity (such as mean or median) calculated from a set of data, whose plural is statistics ("this statistic seems wrong" or "these statistics are misleading").
Famous quotes containing the word statistics:
“We already have the statistics for the future: the growth percentages of pollution, overpopulation, desertification. The future is already in place.”
—Günther Grass (b. 1927)
“We ask for no statistics of the killed,
For nothing political impinges on
This single casualty, or all those gone,
Missing or healing, sinking or dispersed,
Hundreds of thousands counted, millions lost.”
—Karl Shapiro (b. 1913)
“Maybe a nation that consumes as much booze and dope as we do and has our kind of divorce statistics should pipe down about character issues. Either that or just go ahead and determine the presidency with three-legged races and pie-eating contests. It would make better TV.”
—P.J. (Patrick Jake)