BSc Statistics (core) Mathematics and Computer Science (complimentaries)
Dr. A.P. Kuttikrishnan., M.Sc, Ph.D(On Deputation)
B. Anitha M.Sc., M.Phil(HoD)
G.D. Mashooda Kauser M.Sc., M.Ed.

A statistic (singular) or sample statistic is a single measure of some attribute of a sample (e.g. its arithmetic mean value). It is calculated by applying a function (statistical algorithm) to the values of the items of the sample, which are known together as a set of data.
More formally, statistical theory defines a statistic as a function of a sample where the function itself is independent of the unknown estimands; that is, the function is strictly a function of the data. The term statistic is used both for the function and for the value of the function on a given sample.
A statistic is distinct from a statistical parameter, which is not computable in cases where the population is infinite, and therefore impossible to examine and measure all its items. However, a statistic, when used to estimate a population parameter, is called an estimator. For instance, the sample mean is a statistic that estimates the population mean, which is a parameter.
When a statistic (a function) is being used for a specific purpose, it may be referred to by a name indicating its purpose: in descriptive statistics, a descriptive statistic is used to describe the data; in estimation theory, an estimator is used to estimate a parameter of the distribution (population); in statistical hypothesis testing, a test statistic is used to test a hypothesis. However, a single statistic can be used for multiple purposes – for example the sample mean can be used to describe a data set, to estimate the population mean, or to test a hypothesis.