What is data? Why collect data? How is data collected? Who cares anyway?
How many walleye are in Lake Mille Lacs?
Does aspirin prevent heart attacks?
What is the approval rating for the President?
How have the schools in Minnesota been doing to prepare students for success in college?
What percent of people would return money when given too much change?
All of these questions (and infinitely many more) can be answered through statistics. Statisticians begin by posing a question. Then they plan a method for collecting information, called data, about that question. Next they collect the data and analyze it. The statisticians will 'look' at the data in the form of graphs or tables. They will 'analyze' the data with numerical statistics. Finally they will 'explain' what they have learned, what conclusions can be made, and what is still unknown, in a written or verbal report.