### Statistics Knowledge Portal

A free online introduction to statistics

# Welcome to the Statistics Knowledge Portal

## Why SKP?

There are many sources of information across the Internet for those seeking to learn about statistical concepts. Our goal in creating the Statistics Knowledge Portal, or SKP (affectionately pronounced “skip”), was to uniquely combine concise explanations with illuminating examples and graphics to help visitors establish a firm foundation upon which to build statistical skills. Our hope is that SKP will contribute to the growing appreciation of the value of statistical methods and will inspire learners to journey farther.

## Why Statistics?

Statistics is more than just math, and it's more than just a collection of methods to analyze data; statistics provides a way to think about the world in a principled fashion, to interpret the outcomes of events unfolding before us, to see the structure of things amidst the prevailing noise and randomness of our reality. If you work with data right now, or want to start a career where you will, there is nothing more valuable than a solid foundation in statistical methods.

John Sall, co-founder and Executive VP of SAS, discussed why statistics matters on the occasion of the International Year of Statistics in 2013:

Most people don't realize how essential statistics is. Daily life is surrounded by the products of statistics.

You brush your teeth. The fluoride in the toothpaste was studied by scientists using statistical methods to carefully assure the safety and effectiveness of the ingredient and the proper concentration. The toothpaste was formulated through a series of designed experiments that determined the optimal formulation through statistical modeling. The toothpaste production was monitored by statistical process control to ensure quality and consistency, and to reduce variability.

The attributes of the product were studied in consumer trials using statistical methods. The pricing, packaging and marketing were determined through studies that used statistical methods to determine the best marketing decisions. Even the location of the toothpaste on the supermarket shelf was the result of statistically based studies. The advertising was monitored using statistical methods. Your purchase transaction became data that was analyzed statistically. The credit card used for the purchase was scrutinized by a statistical model to make sure that it wasn't fraudulent.

So statistics is important to the whole process of not just toothpaste, but every product we consume, every service we use, every activity we choose.