Data Driven Statistics
Sample Essays

Data Driven Statistics Essay

Data Driven Statistics

  1. What is probability?

This is the measure of how likely an event is going to happen. Life is itself very uncertain and we can never be 100% sure what is going to happen because there is always likelihood that an event may not occur (Durrett, 2010). For instance if a shilling is tossed up, there is an equal chance (50%) that either the head or tail will rest up. Statistically, to calculate probability of an event occurring, you get the number of all outcomes considered divided by the number of outcomes. For example, in the case of shilling tossing above, the shilling is tossed once and there are two possible outcomes. Some terms used in probability include event and outcome. An event is a set of outcomes from an experiment. Outcomes are possible results expected from an event (Durrett, 2010).

What is :

  1. Theoretical probability

This is a term used to explain probability in terms of the number of ways an event can occur divided by the expected total number of outcomes. A good case in point here is rolling of a dice. All numbers 1-6 have equal chance of occurring and as such the probability of either of them appearing is 1/6

  1. Empirical probability

This is the probability applied to estimate how likely an event is likely to occur based on how frequent the event has been occurring in the past. This is based on the data collected and analyzed over a period. It is a result of direct experience or observation by a person. For instance, if students conduct a survey to determine how frequently a certain model of a car passes through a certain road this constitutes empirical probability. The information is recorded for a week, and then an empirical probability can be developed (Durrett, 2010)

Example of empirical probability

Probability has wide application in the society today in risk assessment and management as well as in financial market analysis. A good example of empirical probability application is the perceived impact of widespread Middle East conflict on oil prices. To arrive at this, previous observations will have to be taken into consideration (Ross, 2007).

Example of theoretical probability

This can be applied in determining the reliability of an event. It is widely applied in product design to reduce the probability of failure (Durrett, 2010).This in turn increases the company profitability by reducing unwarranted waste during production.

Probability is a very important subject in the society today. It has evolved overtime; moving from one stage to another. it has advanced to gain wide acceptability and application to solve various societal problems such as in industrial production (Ross, 2010). The government as well widely applies it in enactment and enforcement of some laws such as environmental laws. This is called pathway regulation; Probably, the quality of life today would be lower if probability was not discovered and


Durrett, R. (2010). Probability : theory and examples. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ross, S. M. (2010). Introductory statistics. Burlington: Academic Press/Elsevier.

developed as a way of solving some challenges facing the society .

Question for the classmates

Solve the following probability question

A bag contains 4 white counters, 6 black counters, and 1 green counter. What is the probability of drawing:

a) A white counter

b) A black counter

c) A green counter

d) A white counter or a black counter

e) A white counter or a green counter


Durrett, R. (2010). Probability : theory and examples. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ross, S. M. (2007). Introduction to probability models, Amsterdam: Academic Press

Ross, S. M. (2010). Introductory statistics. Burlington: Academic Press/Elsevier.