Most people don’t realize how important statistics is. Our daily life is surrounded by the products of statistics.

1. Weather Forecasts
Do you watch the weather forecast sometime during the day? How do you use that information? Have you ever heard the forecaster talk about weather models? These computer models are built using statistics that compare prior weather conditions with current weather to predict future weather.

2. Emergency Preparedness
What happens if the forecast indicates that a hurricane is imminent or that tornadoes are likely to occur? Emergency management agencies move into high gear to be ready to rescue people. Emergency teams rely on statistics to tell them when danger may occur.

3. Predicting Disease
Lots of times on the news reports, statistics about a disease are reported. If the reporter simply reports the number of people who either have the disease or who have died from it, it’s an interesting fact but it might not mean much to your life. But when statistics become involved, you have a better idea of how that disease may affect you.
For example, studies have shown that 85 to 95 percent of lung cancers are smoking related. The statistic should tell you that almost all lung cancers are related to smoking and that if you want to have a good chance of avoiding lung cancer, you shouldn’t smoke.

4. Medical Studies
Scientists must show a statistically valid rate of effectiveness before any drug can be prescribed. Statistics are behind every medical study you hear about.

5. Political Campaigns
Whenever there’s an election, the news organizations consult their models when they try to predict who the winner is. Candidates consult voter polls to determine where and how they campaign. Statistics play a part in who your elected government officials will be.

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