Statistics is a branch of mathematics that deals with the collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and the organization of data. Statistics can be applied to scientific, industrial, and social problems using statistical models and predictions. Useful applications of statistics include:
- Methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industry
- Statistical models to develop business analytics on performance and investment
- Foundation of logic in the areas of health and illness among populations
- Methods to predict and anticipate environmental changes such as weather, climate, air, and water quality
Statistics is one of the founding steps for data science and machine learning. A foundation in statistics will help you excel in the areas of data science such as computer science, applied mathematics, and economics.
Knowledge in data science will make it possible for you to solve complex, real-world problems using technology that you may already be familiar with. There are a variety of available online courses to get you familiar with data science and some of the programs used in this field. We’ve put together a list of courses that will help you on your journey to becoming a data science guru.
Who Should Take These Courses
The following statistics course recommendations are for:
- Anyone interested in learning about statistics topics such as ratios, percentages, graphing and aggregating data
- Students pursuing bachelor’s or master’s degree who want to utilize courses to study, practice, or get ahead of coursework
- Students and professionals looking to enhance their skills by learning how to use different statistical software
Statistics for Beginners
Beginner’s courses are best for those who are unfamiliar with the field of statistics or want practice in computing averages and creating graphs and charts. A basic understanding of statistics will help you become comfortable with collecting and interpreting data to share with your peers.
To get an idea of what statistics is about, we recommend:
- Introduction to statistics from Khan Academy
- Statistics from Udacity
If you’re familiar with statistics and want to brush up before moving to more advanced topics, check out:
- Introduction to Data Analysis Using Excel from Rice University
- Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel from Microsoft
Statistics is one of the most applicable math courses. It can be used in the fields of business, science, and even sports. Understanding how to calculate probabilities and outcomes makes it possible to conduct inference and logic models.
Here are some courses for those interested in learning the math behind their favorite sports:
- Math in Sports from University of Notre Dame
- Math behind Moneyball from University of Houston System
The following courses are for intermediate learners who want to specialize their knowledge:
- Introduction to Descriptive Statistics from Udacity
- Principles of Valuation: Risk and Return from University of Michigan
Statistical Software and Technology
Once you’ve become familiar with collecting and interpreting data, you’ll find that large data sets can be a hassle to compute and interpret. Special statistical software has been created to make these computations a breeze. Learning how to use this software is essential to succeeding as a data scientist.
Here are a few introductory courses for the most popular statistical software packages on the market:
- Introduction to Data Science in Python from University of Michigan
- Introduction to R for Data Science from Microsoft
- Learning Minitab from Lynda
A clear understanding of statistics can help you excel in the professional world. Data science and extraction are up and coming career fields. As society becomes more dependent on technology, there will be an increased demand for people who can utilize advanced software to interpret information in a way the rest of the world can understand.