For a layman, ‘Statistics’ means numerical information expressed in quantitative terms. This information may relate to objects, subjects, activities, phenomena, or regions of space. As a matter of fact, data have no limits as to their reference, coverage, and scope. At the macro level, these are data on gross national product and shares of agriculture, manufacturing, and services in GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
At the micro level, individual firms, howsoever small or large, produce extensive statistics on their operations. The annual reports of companies contain variety of data on sales, production, expenditure, inventories, capital employed, and other activities. These data are often field data, collected by employing scientific survey techniques. Unless regularly updated, such data are the product of a one-time effort and have limited use beyond the situation that may have called for their collection. A student knows statistics more intimately as a subject of study like economics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and others. It is a discipline, which scientifically deals with data, and is often described as the science of data. In dealing with statistics as data, statistics has developed appropriate methods of collecting, presenting, summarizing, and analysing data, and thus consists of a body of these methods.