The art of playing with numbers

Numbers are used in a wide array of disciplines. One would be hard pressed to find a discipline where one does not have to play around with them to get a result. Everyone knows that finance and economics are disciplines that depend a great deal on numbers. Practitioners in these fields have to be very adept at making sense of large volumes of data and knowing how it will impact other variables. Engineering requires playing with numbers in a different way. None of the marvels of construction that we have ever witnessed would have been possible if engineers were not adept at numbers.

Social scientists have for long relied on large volumes of statistics to find nuances in human behaviour. Large consumer goods companies often rely on the data compiled and analyzed by social researchers to understand what their consumers think and what they would buy. In days gone by, one had to accumulate all this data in several books and then spend more time interpreting them through complex algorithms. Such rigorous endeavours are no longer required. There are many applications available in the market for both mathematics and economics. Even the humble calculator has undergone several metamorphoses to become a highly advanced application that is capable of many things.

It is not just important to collect numbers. It is more important to apply formulas and tests to them so that the researcher can understand what is happening in his field of study and indeed in the world around him. This requires a different kind of creativity altogether. Those who have the ingenuity to play with numbers and formulas achieve extraordinary things and become greatly sought after both in academia as well as in general industry. That is why learning to work with numbers is an important skill to possess.

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