Why StatsExamples?

decorative image Welcome to the first blog post for StatsExamples. After much consideration, we decided that the best topic for the first post is why we created this site.

Statistics is an essential topic for many fields, especially scientific ones, and classes in statistics are required of students in many college majors. Even more than that, since quantitative information is becoming a larger and larger part of the modern world, understanding statistical ideas is more important now than ever. We live in the age of "big data" and knowing what that means is essential to keep from being left behind.

Our experiences have shown that while there are many online resources for statistics, there are surprisingly few that provide step-by-step descriptions of calculations and concepts at a level appropriate for beginners. Most online sites that discuss statistics are targeted to people who are already experts or they get so involved in minute details that they might as well be. Conversely, most sites for beginners are really just trying to get them to sign up for an expensive training or certificate program. Free online resources for people who are just starting, or need a reminder about what they learned a while ago, are hard to find.

We created StatsExamples to fill that gap. It is actually an expanded version of a site made for a biostatistics course at California State University Long Beach. The site has a wide variety of resources designed to help people at all levels learn and use statistics. At the risk of being too formal (something the penguins don't like to do), here is a list of the things this site has available:

First, we created a page that has links to descriptions of a range of TOPICS from statistics - from straightforward ones like how to calculate the average value to more complex ones like bootstrapping and permutation tests. As the site grows we will add more and more here.

decorative image Second, most statistics involves analyzing summary statistics from samples to make estimates at what one or more larger populations are like. There are many types of values that can be analyzed and calculated from sample data and the site has a page with links devoted to EXAMPLES of each of the most common summary statistics used. These pages have brief descriptions of each statistic as well as step-by-step tutorials on how to calculate them by hand. As the site grows we will add descriptions of how to calculate these values with Excel and R. Further down the road, many pages will also have an online calculator so you can enter you own data and obtain the statistic without needing another program.

Third, a very common activity in statistics is conducting statistical tests on the data you have. These tests may compare sample values for two groups (e.g., t tests or F tests), compare values for more than two groups (e.g., ANOVA or Fmax test), or compare observed values to ones predicted from a null hypothesis (e.g., Chi-squared or sign test). The site has a page with links devoted to each a large number of the most common STATISTICAL TESTS used. These pages have brief descriptions of each test as well as step-by-step tutorials on how to conduct them by hand. As the site grows we will add instructions for how to conduct these tests with Excel and R. Further down the road, many pages will also have an online calculator so you can enter you own data and perform the test without needing another program.

Fourth, we've put together a PAGE OF DEFINITIONS to describe many statistical terms. For many of these definitions, especially the ones for summary statistics, we provide examples of their use in practice. We made a conscious effort to keep these definitions very readable and clear for non-experts (and penguins).

decorative image Fifth, we've prepared some easy to use STATISTICAL TABLES for use when doing statistics by hand or just to help understand what various probability distributions look like. These are all available as PDFs and can be downloaded or printed out for your personal use. These are on the same page as the definitions.

Sixth, we've collected a great set of LINKS to useful resources from across the internet. Serious links include those to technical books about statistics (i.e., textbooks and manuals) or statistical software programs (e.g., R, SPSS, etc.). There are also fun links to other blogs or sites that use statistical concepts in entertaining or unusual ways.

Seventh, we will continue to update our BLOG with posts about interesting and fun aspects of statistics. We expect that future blog posts will range from the serious (e.g., commentaries about statistical ideas) to the humorous (e.g., comments of published webcomics) and everything in-between (e.g., commentaries on news events).

Lastly, if you've made it this far and you want to help support efforts such as this one, please connect with StatsExamples using the links shown below to help us reach more people. If you're feeling especially generous, there's even a Patreon link.


tl:dr, we made a statistics site and it has tons of useful pages you should check out.

Connect with StatsExamples here

This information is intended for the greater good; please use statistics responsibly.