Happy Math and Statistics Awareness Month!


From the food that we enjoy to our course textbooks to the sports that we watch and play, numbers document the world around us. Without numbers, we wouldn’t know how many calories are in our food, how many points a player scored, or how much our textbooks cost.

And while numbers are helpful and important, turning numbers into statistics is where real value is added.

Statistics can be used to measure many things. They can measure averages, variations and other calculations.

In short, numbers tell a story. April is National Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month and it is a good time to remember why these fields of study are important.

For many, the most prominent example of utilizing statistics is within the world of sports. How many times have you turned on a football broadcast to hear the announcers talk about quarterback completion percentage, catch probability, field goal percentage from a certain distance, or head-to-head records?

Tune into a baseball game and you’ll hear about batting averages, earned runs, errors and on-base percentage. If it’s basketball, you’ll likely hear about free throw percentage, turnover ratio and field goal percentage.

All of these numbers seek to tell the story that lies behind the numbers, but they aren’t useful unless someone is calculating and utilizing them.

As a student manager for the Saint Francis softball and men’s basketball programs, I utilize statistics every day. I calculated rebounding percentages for the basketball team this past season and I calculate batting averages, earned run averages and other metrics related to different situations for the softball team.

All of these calculations tell a story and help our coaches evaluate our players’ performances. The coaches then use these numbers to work with the players to make adjustments to their approach, if necessary.

I provide the coaches with statistical analysis after each game on different areas, depending on what I am tracking. I also provide numbers in-game, as needed, to help with strategy.

Statistics aren’t just numbers and they aren’t only valuable in sports, but in almost all aspects of our lives. They tell a story that we can learn from.

Don’t go through life without utilizing the numbers and statistics. They can make a positive difference in your life.

Matthew Hall is a sophomore Business Analytics and Accounting double-major. After graduation, he hopes to work in the sports analytics field.