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Statistics is the science in data science. Without it, your “data-driven” decision-making may be driving you off a cliff edge. A solid grasp of statistical reasoning ensures that you tease only valid insights from your data.

Many traps await the unwary data explorer. In this course, you will learn how to avoid embarrassing mistakes that could undermine months of work.

In this statistics training for data science, you will gain hands-on experience with the tools required to make sense of your data and draw the correct conclusions. The focus is on statistical thinking. Concepts will be introduced intuitively before being expanded on formally. You will learn how to think in terms of distributions — not single-point estimates. Statistical methods will be introduced in the context of how to use them to gain insight and solve problems. As a bonus, you will also get the chance to use the powerful, industry-standard R environment to do the number-crunching.


There are no formal prerequisites for attending this course. No prior knowledge of statistics or software packages is required. An inquisitive nature and an interest in using numbers to solve problems are essential.


Introduction to Statistics is an essential course for anyone technical, managerial or administrative — interested in using data to inform their decision-making.


Introduction and Overview

  • Course philosophy
  • Software
  • Contents

What is Statistics?

  • Definition
  • Types of statistician
  • Variability
  • Probability
  • Let the die roll!
  • Die roll outcomes
  • Why is knowledge of statistics important?
  • Descriptive vs inferential statistics
  • Inferring population parameters
  • Quantitative data
  • Qualitative data
  • R statistical software
  • RStudio
  • Interactive exercise manual demo

Exploratory Data Analysis

  • What is exploratory data analysis (EDA)
  • Histograms and bar charts
  • Bar chart vs histogram
  • Central tendency and spread
  • Bin width is crucial
  • Right-skewed data
  • Outliers
  • Left-skewed data
  • Bimodal data
  • Separate subpopulations for analysis
  • Individual value plot
  • Subpopulation individual value plots
  • Benefits of boxplots
  • Boxplot
  • Boxplot vs histogram
  • Left-skewed boxplot
  • Compare subpopulations using boxplots
  • Swedish salaries by level of education
  • Measures of central tendency
  • Mean vs median
  • Mean vs median for skewed data
  • Mode
  • Measures of spread
  • Range and IQR
  • Standard deviation
  • Six figure summary
  • Central tendency and spread equations
  • Quantiles
  • Benefits of scatterplots
  • Scatterplot
  • Highlighting subgroups on scatterplot
  • What is correlation?
  • Correlation examples
  • Random data correlation
  • Literacy rate correlation
  • # children per woman correlation
  • Interpreting correlation coefficients
  • Correlation doesn’t imply causation
  • Causation doesn’t imply (linear) correlation

Probability Distributions

  • Numbers are mostly reckless estimates
  • Random variables
  • Male life expectancy in UK distribution
  • What’s the probability that a US man is 6’ or more?
  • What is a probability distribution?
  • Populations vs samples
  • Sampling the heights of 10 random American men
  • Sampling the heights of 100,000 random American men
  • Discrete probability distributions
  • Roll two dice and histogram the results
  • Poisson distribution
  • Binary probability distributions
  • Probability distribution for cars/household in the UK
  • Binomial distribution
  • Geometric distribution
  • Negative Binomial distribution
  • Continuous probability distributions
  • Uniform distribution
  • Triangular distribution
  • Normal distribution
  • Properties of the normal distribution
  • Distribution of IQ scores
  • Different means (same standard deviation)
  • Different standard deviations (same mean)
  • z-distribution
  • 68–95–99.7 (empirical) rule
  • Quantile-Quantile (Q-Q) plot
  • Q-Q plot of non-normal data
  • Common probability distributions “family tree”


  • Samples are proxies for the population of interest
  • Unfortunately, samples vary
  • Larger samples exhibition less variation
  • Statistics vs parameters
  • Distributions involved in statistical inference
  • Sampling distribution of mean IQ
  • Collecting more IQ samples
  • Sampling distribution of mean die roll
  • Sampling distribution of mean project duration
  • Create a sampling distribution
  • Central limit theorem
  • Implications of the central limit theorem
  • Standard error of the mean (SEM)
  • Impact of sample size on SEM
  • What is a confidence interval?
  • 95% confidence interval
  • Bigger samples give greater precision
  • Smaller confidence levels result in tighter intervals
  • How should we interpret the confidence interval?
  • Random sampling
  • Simple random sampling
  • Stratified sampling
  • Cluster sampling
  • What is bootstrapping?
  • Estimating median life expectancy

Statistical Inference

  • What is statistical inference?
  • Why must we use samples?
  • Why do we need to conduct hypothesis tests?
  • What is hypothesis testing?
  • Null hypothesis
  • Alternative hypothesis
  • Rejecting the null hypothesis
  • One- vs Two-tailed hypothesis tests
  • Choosing between one- and two-tailed tests
  • What are p-values?
  • Significance level (?)
  • Types of errors
  • Confidence levels vs significance levels
  • Performing hypothesis tests
  • p-value controversy
  • When to use a t-test
  • t-value
  • t-distribution
  • t-distributions
  • Slot machine observed ”Return to Player”
  • Are slot machine payouts within tolerance?
  • Preform a t-test on RTP data using R
  • Two-sample t-test
  • When to use a z-test
  • Conducting hypothesis tests using z-scores
  • When to use a 2 test
  • Education and Brexit vote
  • Brexit vote breakdown
  • 2 value
  • 2 distributions
  • Are education and Brexit vote related?
  • When to use a F-test
  • Conducting hypothesis tests using F-values
  • F-distributions
  • Height distribution by sex
  • Does height variation differ by sex?
  • When to use analysis of variance (ANOVA)
  • Determining the F-value
  • Are all diets the same?
  • All diets are apparently not the same
  • Normality hypothesis tests
  • Statistically significant treatments?
  • What is statistical power?
  • Calculating statistical power
  • Statistical power curve
  • Improving statistical power of hypothesis tests

Additional information


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