Statistic  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A statistic (singular) is a single measure of some attribute of a sample (e.g. its arithmetic mean value). It is calculated by applying a function (statistical algorithm) to the values of the items comprising the sample which are known together as a set of data.

More formally, statistical theory defines a statistic as a function of a sample where the function itself is independent of the sample's distribution; that is, the function can be stated before realisation of the data. The term statistic is used both for the function and for the value of the function on a given sample.

A statistic is distinct from an statistical parameter, which is not computable because often the population is much too large to examine and measure all its items. However a statistic, when used to estimate a population parameter, is called an estimator. For instance, the sample mean is a statistic which estimates the population mean, which is a parameter.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Statistic" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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