The purpose of the series of articles, of which this is the first, is to introduce from a practical angle those methods of handling data which have a statistical basis and to suggest some of their possible uses in veterinary medicine. This does not entail sophisticated mathematics, nor should it inevitably bring with it the pain and misery which is so often, and so frequently unjustly, associated with matters biometrical. No attempt will be made to cover the subject in any more depth than is required for the condensation and basic assessment of quantitative data, bearing in mind the number of comprehensive textbooks already available. Indeed, so many pitfalls await those who wander out of their statistical depth that for data requiring complex analysis, rather than sorting and simple testing, the inexperienced are well advised to seek expert assistance, such as is available through the Ministry of Agriculture's veterinary investigation centres.
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