Why Anthropology and Statistics?

Being a Anthropologist is important but even more so being a emergency manager adds another level to using statistics. So I have a couple of questions I wanted to answer for myself that I hope will help others.

What is statistics?

According to Dictionary.com Statistics is simply a noun with a definition of “the numerical facts or data themselves”. So are we using math and numbers to tell stories of the data? Yes. We are using this universal language of mathematics to tell the stories about different subjects.

A great resource for the definition of statistics and just to learn more about statistics is the American Statistical Association (ASA) web page on this subject.

Why is statistics useful?

Have you looked at the weather forecast lately? That uses statistics heavily. Have you used a percent to find tip for a restaurant? You have just used statistics. Have you ever done research and found numbers to describe a graph to tell a story? You have just read and learned a little bit to interpret statistics.

Here is a great article by John Marsh written back in September of 2014 with a great list of reasons to use statistics. Article: 10 Awesome Reasons Why Statistics Are Important; Link: https://medium.com/@john_marsh7/10-awesome-reasons-why-statistics-are-important-96b87e283640

Much of public safety statistics are in rational database. I had no idea what a rational database was so I did my research. It is a database to help in the finding of relationships between items. If you ask me that is really awesome and in need. mySQL is a great resource to learn to discover these relationships.

I 100% agree with a recent article I found on the Geek Anthropologist website. Here is a link to the article: https://thegeekanthropologist.com/2015/11/06/data-and-the-anthropologist-could-you-be-using-your-anthropology-skills-in-a-more-data-centric-role/

Anthropologists really do need to be using statistics more. Especially to tell stories of data that can be used by others.

Let me know what your thoughts are about statistics and its uses. As a social scientist have you used statistics and if so what have you learned that can help others? If you are a anthropologist how have you used statistics in school and practically?

Hope to hear from you soon!

Published by

Jason Schmerer

I have 5 plus years’ experience in continuous improvement and analytics and enjoy helping others, connecting dots, and working with various kinds of both qualitative and quantitative data.

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