In order for statistics to be approved, it must follow a special procedure. This is to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible. If everyone could choose their own approach, it would be impossible to compare different statistical surveys and analyses.
You need to formulate a research question which can be examined.
You need to create clear and concise questions. They must be neutral and perceived equally by all.
The questions must have a limited number of answer options, so that you get information that is possible to work with.
You must have a representativesample. This means that you have to ask people whose composition represents the whole group.
The information must be sorted, preferably in a table.
Finally, you need to choose the right method to display the result. You can do this using charts, central tendency and measure of dispersion. There are many ways to present statistics and which method you use is dependent on the data you have gathered. It is of vital importance that your presentation gives a correct image of the information you have gathered.
A representativesample is a test sample which represents the group you are going to investigate. Then gender, age, religion, political beliefs, geography and the like be taken into account. The selection should also be random.
Think About This
Not everything you read is true. Every day there are errors in newspapers, magazines and articles. This may be a miss on the part of the author or journalist, or it may be that the source has presented data that is incorrect.
Below is a list of things to keep in mind, so that you maintain a critical view of the sources:
Who is behind the information? Can they have an ulterior motive for writing the article?
Does the author/company behind the information have an advantage by presenting the data in this way?
If it is a graphical representation (chart) of the data, are the axes adjusted so that the data is presented differently?
Have a critical mind, but accept if you have been disproved!