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46 Statistical skills > Introduction - Pg. 514

514 Part 9 Hr skills introduction HR professionals need skills in using statistics in order to analyse and present quantitative information that can be used to guide decisions and monitor outcomes. They are an essential element in human capital management and are also important in such fields as performance management (the analysis of appraisal results and levels of performance) and reward management (the analysis of market rates, pay reviews, the distribution of pay and equal pay). Statistics play a major part in the analysis of surveys and research evidence. HR professionals do not need advanced statistical skills unless they are conducting or taking part in detailed research projects. The main statistics they will use regularly, as described in this chapter, are concerned with the analysis of the incidence of events or activities (frequencies), the use of aver- ages (measures of central tendency), how items in a population are distributed (dispersion) and the relationship between two variables (regression). But relation between cause and effect (causality), assess the degree of confidence that can be attached to con- clusions (tests of significance) and test hypotheses (the chi-squared test and null-hypothesis testing). A wide variety of software is available to conduct the more sophisticated analyses. frequency Frequency is the number of times individual items in a population or set occur. It is represented in frequency distributions expressed in tabular form or graphically. Commonly used graphs are illus- trated in Figure 46.1. Measures of central tendency