An important application of statistics is business analytics, which is the use of data analysis and modeling to help businesses achieve better performance. For example, in order to know how to improve business performance, a retailer may need to objectively compare the performance of several different retail outlets. An online marketer may need to set up experiments to test the effectiveness of different website layouts. An insurance company may need to analyze its claims to identify those most likely to be fraudulent. A grocery chain may wish to analyze its customer records to determine how to use coupons to increase the loyalty of its customers and to increase the amount each customer spends.
Statistics is used in many other fields as well, – e.g., economics, finance, market research, e-commerce, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, education, medicine, psychology, agriculture, and computer and social sciences.
There are two basic types of statisticians – applied and theoretical. The focus of the undergraduate program is on applied statistics. Applied statisticians help to improve processes and solve real-world problems. They may forecast economic or population growth, evaluate results of a new marketing program or the effectiveness of a new drug, identify quality control issues in manufacturing, or design experiments to help engineers and scientists determine the best design for a jet airplane.
Prospective statisticians must have a strong aptitude for mathematics, a solid computing background, and an earnest curiosity to explore the practical application of statistics. The skills students will learn as a statistics major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will enable them to understand and convey the scope and power of statistical thinking and will result in significant contributions toward solutions to a variety of important jobs. Well-paying jobs are available at the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and doctoral levels.