Statistics: Power from Data!

Release date: September 2, 2021

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Statistics: Power from Data! is a training tool for students, teachers and the general population that will help them in getting the most from statistics. This resource aims to help readers:

  • gain confidence in using statistical information,
  • appreciate the importance of statistical information in today's society,
  • make critical use of information that is presented to them.

These goals are at the heart of Statistics Canada's mission to assist Canadians with informed decision-making based on data.

The first section of this resource defines the concepts of data, statistics and statistical information, as well as data quality. The second section describes the types of data that can be used to produce statistical information. The third section details the processes involved in the production of statistical information, such as sampling, data collection, edit and imputation, estimation and record linkage. Sections 4 and 5 explain how to use descriptive statistics and data visualization to explore data. Each chapter is intended to be complete in itself, and contains exercises to help consolidate the understanding of the material.

It is important to note that the length and amount of detail of a section don’t reflect the importance of its topic to the overall survey process, but rather the expected technical level of the target audience. This explains why the section on creating graphs is very detailed, while the one on estimation and weights is quite brief. Graphing is an appropriate tool for secondary schools, but the details of data estimation necessitate advanced knowledge in mathematical statistics that is usually acquired during postsecondary studies.

Finally, special thanks must be given to the Australian Bureau of Statistics for allowing Statistics Canada to use the second edition of their book Statistics — A Powerful Edge! as a basis in developing this online Canadian counterpart at the start of the 2000s and whose influence is still as important for this update to Statistics: Power from Data!

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