Statisticians Promote Contributions to Society During the International Year of Statistics - 2013

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Stats are key to informed and optimal decision-making, yet for many, it remains a black box. Statistics2013 is a chance to open up that black box for professionals who rely on statistical analysis.

The Institute for Statistics Education and more than 1,400 organizations in 111 countries are combining energies to promote the International Year of Statistics (Statistics2013), a worldwide initiative that will highlight the contributions of the statistics field to finding solutions to global challenges.

The goals of this awareness campaign are to:

  •     Increase public understanding of the power and impact of statistics on all aspects of society
  •     Nurture statistics as a profession, especially among high-school and college students

Statistics2013 participants include national and international professional societies, universities, schools, businesses, government agencies and research institutes. These groups will help millions of people understand the value of statistical science through seminars, workshops and outreach to students and the media.

Statistics—the science of learning from data and of measuring, controlling and communicating uncertainty—is much more than numbers on sports pages. "Statistics is used in nearly every field and endeavor, anywhere that quantitative data are generated or used," says Peter Bruce, President,

"Stats are key to informed and optimal decision-making, yet for many, it remains a black box," continues Bruce. "Statistics 2013 is a chance to open up that black box for professionals who rely on statistical analysis. "

Examples of the impact of statistics abound in our society. Statistics predicts weather and other natural hazards, powers Internet search engines and marketing campaigns, discovers and develops new drugs and helps make the world secure and sustainable. Throughout the last two centuries, statistics was indispensable in confirming many of humankind’s greatest discoveries and breakthroughs, from confirming the dangers of smoking to turning a low budget baseball team into a major contender.

"For centuries, the scarcity of data has been an important constraint on our ability to make good decisions. As statistical tools and methods have improved and data has become more available, actions and decisions can become more scientific and data-driven. In fact, the world is now awash in data, and opportunities to extract value from it abound," explains Bruce. "But this requires decision-makers to know the limits of intuition and gut instinct, to value the contribution that statistical analysis can bring, and to employ statistics wisely."

The central feature of the Statistics2013 awareness campaign is its website - where many resources can be found including "What Is Statistics?" an explanation in layman’s language, a statistics quiz for students, information about the work of statisticians and careers in statistics, and primary and secondary school resources for teachers.

To celebrate the International Year of Statistics in 2013, offers a number of free resources.

About The Institute for Statistics Education at is the leading provider of online education in analytics and statistics, with 100+ courses and 4 certificate programs. Students come from over 70 countries, and are primarily working professionals. Highlighted by Gartner Research as an innovator in a February 2012 report, engages instructors for their expertise in a specific area, and most are authors of leading texts. Course topics include intro statistics, predictive modeling, forecasting, data mining, text mining, visualization, sentiment analysis, survey design and analysis, programming in R, optimization, risk modeling, Bayesian analysis, biostatistics, epidemiologic analysis, clinical trials, and more.

Courses delivered online last 4 weeks, and feature a discussion forum with the instructor, plus individual feedback and grading on homework (includes training with statistical software). Lessons are organized by week, but within each week there is no requirement to be online at a particular time. is certified by the Commonwealth of VA as a post-secondary education institution. Its introductory statistics and biostatistics courses are approved for college credit by the American Council on Education.

For information, visit or call 1-703-522-5410

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Janet Dobbins
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