Link between statistics, research and decision making

Published at January 14, 2018 01:38 AM 0Comment(s)1056views

All international and national agencies thrusts research and development as a goal of future development

Link between statistics, research and decision making

AltafHussain Haji

The understanding of knowledge creation and dissemination contributes to economic growth and social wellbeing. Throughout history, the outcomes from statistics have transformed people’s lives and societies in multiple ways, as well as the natural environment.

This realisation has created a sustained demand among policy analysts and decision makers for documenting the level and nature of both human and financial resources that different countries, regions, firms and institutions devote to such endeavour, as a first step towards learning how to direct them towards desired objectives and supporting this evidence need through statistics.

As we know that the science of collecting, analysing and making inference from data information is called Statistics. Statistics is a particularly useful branch of mathematics that is not only studied theoretically by advanced mathematicians but one that is used by researchers in many fields to organize, analyse, and summarize data.

Some of the major purposes of statistics are to help us understand and describe phenomena in our world and to help us draw reliable conclusions about those phenomena. The processing of reliable conclusions about phenomena is than called research.

As you know research is an important issue in every corner of the almost every knowledge. Every information now-a-days is based on research. Research is a systematic self- critical enquiry. The enquiry is aimed at understanding a thing or phenomenon or solving a problem.

Research is a careful and detailed study into a specific problem, concern, or issue using the scientific method. Research can be about anything, and we hear about all different types of research in the news.

These researches can come from observing the world, prior research, professional literature, or from peers. Research really begins with the right question, because your question must be answerable.

The first and foremost, it is important for researchers and also consumers of research to understand statistics so that they can be informed, evaluate the credibility and usefulness of information, and make appropriate decisions

Research comprise creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge –including knowledge of human kind, culture and society, and to devise new applications of available knowledge.

 It is largely uncertain about its final outcome of research and it is aimed at producing results that could be either freely transferred or traded in a market place.

For an activity of research activity, it must satisfy five core criteria. The activity must be novel, creative, uncertain, systematic and transferable and/or reproducible.

All the five criteria are to be met, at least in principle, every time are search activity that is under taken whether on a continuous or occasional basis. 

Research may comprise studies, which are reporting, descriptive, explanatory or predictive. Reporting type of research consists of furnishing data, information, or statistics.

It may involve considerable skill in obtaining data from sources, abstracting the information from it, and evaluating the information thus obtained.

In descriptive type of research, the researcher may try to describe a single event or characteristic through distributions or may try to relate a few events or variables through statistical analysis.

The results cater to broader decision interests in the organisation, relating to policy and administration because of technological changes. Predictive research is particularly useful in planning the activities of a firm.It would be ideal if he is carrying out the research himself, in order to get good and reliable results.

The term research covers three types of activity: basic research, applied research and experimental development.

Basic research: When an enquiry is aimed at understanding, it is termed as basic or fundamental research. Basic research is or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the under lying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view.

Applied research: When the enquiry is aimed at applying the available knowledge for practical or commercial use is termed as applied research.Applied research is original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge.

It is, however, directed primarily towards a specific, practical aim or objective. Applied research is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new methods or ways of achieving specific and predetermined objectives. It involves considering the available knowledge and its extension in order to solve actual problems.

Experimental development: Experimental development is systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes.

Administration, statistics and decision making

 A decision making is one in which a researcher, administrator or manager is faced with a number of possible courses of action to solve a problem and a number of possible states and conditions of problem situations, which arise with uncertainty.

The researcher, administrator or manager in order to be effective, has to be effective, has to choose the course of action which is the most suitable against a set of criteria (like minimum cost and maximum profit in a particular situation though in practice there may be other criteria).

The procedures for decision making in an organisation range from simple rules to complex analysis,individual decision making, from application of precedence and experience to considerable amount of enquiry and investigation.

In recent times,however,as research base decision making is becoming more complex, there is a shift in most organisation from experience and judgement to analysis andresearch in decision making.

The competence and effectiveness of any organisation or department is dependent upon the quality of its human resources. It has been seen names of my organisation like National Sample Survey Office(NSSO) that managing the human component is the most important and central task of administration and management.

In this context,social relations in an enterprise present many difficulties in the application of natural science methods.Severe problems arise in measurement,which cannot be rigorously carried out. Motivation, attitudes, stress, loyalty and cooperation are not amenable to precise measurement.

Further,the openness of results,which is so essential in natural science, becomes well-high possible,as considerable resistance of organisations and customers, couple patenting problems, exists. Public funding for management research is not generally as widespread as for physical, biological, and engineering science

Issues and dimensions of research:There are many issues during research strategy whether the study is a field study or a laboratory study. The richness of the study, degree of clarity of a problem, degree of control of research, period of the time of study, units of study in term of objectives, relationship of research study, and model for finding results are the main issues of research processes both in government or institutions.

It should be remembered that there are certain dimensions of statistical research to be adopted and carry out research study. As we know that the research study is based on the following dimensions such as:

  • The objective of research may be fact finding, exploring, or evaluation.
  • The area of thinking would indicate the broad disciplinary area of the research like sociology, economics, statistics, public management, and so on.
  • The locus of location is whether the research is primarily located in a library, in archives and records, in a field of activity, or in a laboratory.
  • The relationship sought would include associative relationship, comparison, or causal relationship.
  • The method of gathering evidence itself gives certain special features of research. For examplea questionnaire may be used, as in the surveys,interviews may be held, or participant observation may be used.
  • The kind of data collected profoundly influences the kind of research. The data may be either qualitative, which may either allow generalization on arguments and description or it could be quantitative, which may lead to rigorous quantitative analysis and definitive conclusions.
  • The procedure may be comparison of data, descriptive measures of data, or in-depth analysis of an incident, or it may be an evaluation of a policy.
  • The time- dimension of studyis important from the point of view of whether the study is cross-sectional or longitudinal. In the first, the status of systems or phenomenon is analysed, whereas in the second,thedevelopmental aspectsofseveral variables of the phenomenon will be investigated over time.

Application of social research:There is large number of applications of social research such as in thefield of population, education, health, medicine, genetic engineering etc.

Also the National SampleSurvey Office(NSSO) under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme India finds social research applications of the following matters such as  health inequality, income inequality, relative poverty line, measurements of poverty and gender bias, extent and dimensions of gender bias in India, multi-dimensional poverty, poverty eradication programmesand as many other social research indicators.

The Economic Analysis Unit (EAU) of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, government of India has important research studies of incomes of small farmer, on caste and exclusion and on agrarian relations, gender gap in official statistics.              

There are so many fields in which research can be done by using statistics tools in order to get better results for implementation and decision making.

As a statistician and an officer of Indian Statistical Service (ISS), there is lot of scope and applications where we can do research and serve for the state and nation. As you know that all international and national agencies thrusts research and development as a goal of future development.

The main objective of the topic and publication is to create awareness among the educated youths, scholars and teacher who is very efficient and intelligent may adopt the outline the scientific thinking and methods which are necessary for good research in institutions, universities and government by statistical based procedures.

It also highlights the concerns of many researchers and practitioners who seem to advocate alternate perspectives for research in term of statistics and making decision.

Author is Director, National Sample Survey Office,

(Field Operations Division) Regional office, Srinagar.



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