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Forecast trends by analyzing big data.

What does a Statistician do?

A Statistician’s job is to collect and analyze data for the purpose of summarizing information, solving problems, and making predictions. Once every 10 years, for example, the U.S. Census Bureau takes an official census of the U.S. population that includes information about how many people live in the United States. The results are used to allocate seats in Congress, votes in the Electoral College, and funding for government programs encompassing everything from health care to education to infrastructure.

Data like that from the U.S. Census is processed by Statisticians, whose work with surveys, samples, and studies impacts fields as varied as business, finance, government, manufacturing, science, engineering, and health.

Whether you’re a Statistician for the government or for a business, you start every project with a question or series of questions, which you design carefully and deliberately so as to avoid biases and yield useful information. Because it would be impossible to ask your questions to all people everywhere, you then use your knowledge of probability to design a “sampling” — a representative group that speaks for the larger population — which Pollsters then survey under your supervision. Finally, your job is tabulating and interpreting findings, using them to predict future outcomes related to things like populations, products, and purchases.

Although your work often includes opinion polls, your surveys just as often involve observation. Car manufacturers, for instance, study samples of vehicles to determine the probability of defects, malfunctions, and failures.

Ultimately, therefore, your goal is using mathematical probabilities to do what crystal balls can’t: predict the future.