Karl Pearson, the British mathematician and arguably the father of modern statistics, said “Statistics is the Grammar of Science”. On October 20, 2010, the United Nations Statistical Commission celebrated the first World Statistics Day with the theme “Celebrating the Many Achievements in Statistics”. It was an overwhelming success, with activities organised in more than 130 Member States and by at least 40 international and regional organisations and entities. In 2012, it was decided that the celebration would be observed every five years. The day celebrates the achievements of the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics.
Statistics involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of large amounts of numerical data. World Statistics Day seeks to highlight the importance of reliable and timely data for informed decision-making by governments and individuals. The day also serves to promote the right to public information and raise awareness for technical investments that can aid in the data collection process. The importance of timely and reliable data means that nobody is left unaccounted for in order for policy makers to better address and overcome challenges such as education, climate change and social needs. The world statistics day was last celebrated under the leadership of former UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon in 2015 with the theme “Better Data, Better Lives”.
In December 2019, the Statistics Division of the United Nations statistical commission began working with the Graphic Design Unit of the Department of Global Communications to produce possible logos. The Bureau selected a logo which was officially launched during the fifty-first session of the Commission, in March 2020. The trusted data that the world can connect to is of most importance for 2020 world statistics day. The official logo represents this idea with a circular shape that portrays the globe, and a bar chart with a checkmark signifying trusted security. Also, the logo of this programme is made in multiple languages.
Today on 22 October 2020, the third world statistics day is being observed around the globe with the theme “Connecting the world with data we can trust”. This theme reflects the importance of trust, authoritative data, innovation and the public good in the national statistical system.
The purpose of organising World Statistics Day is:
• To monitor the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the national, regional and international levels.
• To acknowledge the fundamental importance of sustainable national statistical capacity.
• To produce reliable and timely statistics and indicators measuring a country’s progress, which is an indispensable basis for informed policy decision making.
• To support national efforts in building and strengthening national statistical capacity, in particular of developing countries, based on Economic and Social Council resolution of 24 July 2006 entitled ‘Strengthening statistical capacity’.
Why Statistics deserve a celebration?
Statistics are vital. The importance of statistical science in agriculture is obvious, where the collection, analysis and interpretation of numerical data are concerned. Statistical principles apply in all areas of experimental work and they have a very important role in agricultural experiments. This field of mathematics allows scientists to make new discoveries. It helps industries make safer products.
Application of statistics in healthcare is extremely important as it is used to guide decision makers. Statistical analysis is used widely by health care organisations to gauge their performances results. Human service agencies and government health use the statistical information to determine the well-being and the overall health of the population. Pharmacists develop more effective medications when using statistics.
Statistical concepts and methods are developed and applied in industries for various problems – for example, in order to monitor the quality of products, to plan effective and efficient designs to improve standards, to test and analyse the quality of items produced, and to accept (or reject) conforming (nonconforming) units produced.
Reliability professionals make extensive use of statistics to help identify failure modes and predict life expectancy for aviation systems and components. Virtually every industry in the world benefits from statistical research and data.
Statistics help to prove facts and make important decisions. Statistics also play an essential role in tracking trends and finding patterns. When predicting the weather, meteorologists rely on statistics to be accurate. Even investors make better financial decisions thanks to statistics. For all these reasons, statistics deserve a celebration.
—The writer is a PhD scholar in Statistics at SKUAST-Jammu. [email protected]