"Statistics" 此自起源於 拉丁文 的 "status", 意指 "state". 統計可用於簡化與表示一群數字資料, 主要是在研究如何將一群資料的全體中抽出一部份, 再利用這部份的資料去估計與檢定此資料全體的某些未知特性值或是變數值, 比較與所屬全體資料的相關性. 在統計上, 稱資料全體為 "母體", 由其中抽出的部份資料的過程稱為 "抽樣", 而這不份資料即為"樣本", 而母些為知的特性值或是變數值則稱為 "參數".

Statistics 統計
Statistics as a subject probides a body of principles and methodology for designing the process of data collection, summarizing and interpreting the data, and drawing conclusions or generalities.

Population 母體
A statistical population is the set of measurements (or record of some qualitative trait) corresponding to the entire collection of units about which information is sought.

Sample 樣本
A sample from a statistical population is the set of measurements that are actually collected in the course of an investigation.

Inference 推論
To make inferences about a population from an analysis of information contained in sample data. This includes assessments of the extent of uncertainty involved in these inferences.

Design 決策
To design the process and the extent of sampling so that the observations form a basis for drawing valid inferences.