Timeline of Statistics


In 2010 the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) launched the getstats campaign in order to bring statistics to various groups like general public, journalists or teachers and ‘to increase statistical literacy and … to raise the profile of statistics and its increasing relevance in today’s data-rich society’.

getstats offers a lot of interesting resources, One of these is …

The Timeline


Download the Timeline as pdf

‘Statistics is about gathering data and working out what the numbers can
tell us. From the earliest farmer estimating whether he had enough grain
to last the winter to the scientists of the Large Hadron Collider confirming
the probable existence of new particles, people have always been making
inferences from data. Statistical tools like the mean or average summarise
data, and standard deviations measure how much variation there is within a
set of numbers. Frequency distributions – the patterns within the numbers
or the shapes they make when drawn on a graph – can help predict future
events. Knowing how sure or how uncertain your estimates are is a key part
of statistics.
Today vast amounts of digital data are transforming the world and the
way we live in it. Statistical methods and theories are used everywhere, from
health, science and business to managing traffic and studying sustainability
and climate change. No sensible decision is made without analysing the data.
The way we handle that data and draw conclusions from it uses methods
whose origins and progress are charted here’ (in this timeline).
Julian Champkin
Significance magazine