While statistics focuses on numbers, math, and theoretical problems, applied statistics takes those skills and uses them in real-life situations, with the emphasis on finding practical benefits. Companies have many uses for applied statistics, using the vast amount of data we generate daily to influence many different aspects of business. This means that those with qualifications in applied statistics will be much in demand by employers.
Becoming an applied statistician
Applied statistics qualifications appeal strongly to employers and gaining them is a good step for anyone starting out in a career or looking for a promotion. Many universities offer degrees or post-graduate degrees in applied statistics, with these courses proving popular with students and helping them gain lucrative positions after qualifying.
Attending university in person is not always possible for everyone. Many have work or family commitments that mean they cannot devote the time to full-time study or do not have a suitable course nearby. For these people, online study is an ideal option, with courses as challenging and valuable as anything an in-person course can offer. Michigan Tech is an excellent example of a place that offers a Master’s in Applied Statistics through 100% online study. With areas of focus including advanced statistical methods, programming and technology, real-world problem solving, and communication and leadership, this course provides a thorough grounding for the various positions businesses are keen to offer skilled statisticians. And these roles can be found across many different aspects of business.
A career in marketing is ideal for those who want to combine their love of data analysis with a creative passion for story-telling. When creating a social media marketing campaign, a business needs to know who to target and the most effective way of doing it. That is where statistics come in. They can identify your target demographic and which social media platforms they are most likely to use. It will also tell you when they will most likely be active on social media. This allows the business to run its campaign in a place and at a time when it will most likely reach its target audience. If the campaign is going to run on TV, radio, or in the print media, statistical analysis can help choose the most effective media to meet the target demographic.
Many applied statisticians find careers in the finance departments of businesses. Applied statistics are essential for companies when making financial decisions. Studying past financial data and projects can help give accurate predictions of what may happen financially in the future. This can help businesses make the correct financial decisions and accurately assess whether a current decision or project is likely to make economic sense or whether it is more likely to cause a loss and should be abandoned.
Monitoring employees and productivity
Statistics are a good way of measuring the productivity of your employees and can influence decisions on who is employed and their working practices. You could, for example, monitor the results of employees with a particular qualification or experience to see if they are more productive than average and whether it is worth looking for that on the resumes of future employees. Alternatively, you might trial a particular working practice, such as a shorter working day. By gathering data on the productivity of those workers and comparing it to the data from those working a longer day, you can find if it is beneficial to the business to offer this to employees.
This form of applied statistical analysis is particularly useful for businesses that make a physical product and want to see how effective their production lines and equipment are. If trialing a new production method, an applied statistician can check a proportion of the finished products for quality. Seeing how many meet the required standard help the business make decisions as to whether this method is an effective one.
Even in the best and most efficient of businesses, things can go wrong, and it may not always be immediately apparent why this has happened. Applied statistics can be used as a diagnostics tool to find out. Statisticians can look at all the data from past sales records, marketing campaigns, employee stats, manufacturing processes, and anything else relevant to a particular business. This can help companies identify where the problem lies and indicate the best way to resolve the issue.
Applied statisticians in businesses do not just look at their internal data. They also need to keep abreast of the trends in their industry and the wider population. Without knowing the current trends and predicting the future ones, a business runs a risk of becoming irrelevant, seeming backward in comparison to its competitors. From new fashions to changing technology to global events, anything can change what customers expect and what businesses need to meet to stay successful.
Statisticians need to know what is popular among the main customer demographic, allowing them to suggest where the business needs to go to keep pace with these trends. In a fast-changing world, this is an ongoing process and can affect a range of business decisions, from what to produce to which type of advertising and marketing campaign is likely to be most effective.
Utilizing applied statistics
With applied statistics analyzing so much information on how to develop areas of business, it is hardly surprising that companies are keen to employ the best applied statisticians. Gaining qualifications in applied statistics will, therefore, render you highly employable with good long-term prospects for ongoing work and promotion. An applied statistics qualification works well in conjunction with other skills, whether it is the creative fare of a marketer to the dedication to detail of the financier. And as individuals and businesses create more data, the importance of the applied statistician to business will grow.