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Statistical questions

What’s the average time that our marketing departments spend per week doing a certain task? What is the average height of newborn babies in Norway? What was Google’s average stock price during x period? What political party will win the election? What are statistical questions?


Statistics solve for variability

Statistical questions are the ones for which we need to collect data that has variability. Because to solve for variability, we need statistics.

For example, the following question has no variability: What’s the number of staffs in our finance department? For this question you simply count the staffs and get a number. This is not a statistical question. We count the population directly. This is also called census

Say we run a sample in which you ask 6 colleagues if they eat the new sandwiches that are served in the lunch breaks and all 6 give no for an answer, then there is no variability. But if we increase the sample to 30, some might answer that they don’t like the sandwiches. There is a chance of variability. Therefore, this is a statistical question.

To the question of average time spend weekly on some task in our marketing department, this is a statistical question too, as it has variability. We would get different outcomes for each time period. And we need statistics to calculate the variability so that we can estimate for the true mean.

See also Probability sampling and Non-probability sampling for what to consider before designing a sample.

Statistical questions


Learning on statistical questions


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Learning statistics. Doing statistics. Freelance since 2005. Dane. Living in Spain. With my Spanish wife and two children. 

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