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Basic Definitions of Statistics

**Definition of Survey**

The collection of information from the elements of a population or sample.

Survey is one of the most important parts in statistics. Without the information, we can not do the estimation or hypothesis testing. The information collected in a survey is in the form of raw data.

**Definition of Census**

A survey that includes every element of the target population.

The most accurate survey is when we can include everyone in the target group. Census survey is easier to conduct if the target group is small. However, for a large population, census survey is very costly and time consuming. Moreover it is very difficult to identify each member of a target group.

**Definition of Sample Survey**

Survey conducted on a sample to make decisions about the corresponding population.

Sample survey is the alternative method to census survey. Sample survey is easier to conduct and the size of sample depends on needs, budget and availability of the members in the target group.

**Definition of Representative Sample **

A sample that represent the characteristics of the populations as closely as possible

For example: to find the average spending of customers in a department store. The selected sample must come from various backgrounds and it in about the same background as the existing population has.

**Definition of Random Sample**

A sample drawn in such a way that each element of the population has the same chance of being selected.

Examples of random sample are lucky draw in an annual dinner and draw a representative.

Definition of Element or Member

A specific subject or object about which the information is collected.

**Definition of Variable**

The characteristics that being studied which assumes some values for each element

Definition of Observation or Measurement

The value of a variable or characteristics for an element.

**Definition of Data Set**

A collection of observations on one or more variables

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