The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Statistics

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If statistics intimidate you, if you don't know a standard deviation from a standard deduction, this book uses an almost-no-math approach to helping you understand and put together business reports. It is a step-by-step guide to choosing, using, and interpreting statistics for business. Instead of teaching you arithmetic, symbols, and calculations, it teaches you how to decide what data is necessary for a report.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028639871
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 8/2/2001
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Sunny Baker, Ph.D. teaches graduate-level research and statistics courses along with information technology for the University of Redlands. She has also taught at the University of Southern California and San Jose State University. A former general manager at Microsoft and director of marketing at Intel, Sunny has authored or co-authored more than 20 books including the best-selling The Complete Idiot's Guide to Project Management.

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Table of Contents


1. Statistics and Business Go Hand in Hand.

The Origin of Statistics. Some Real-World Business Examples of Statistics. Introducing the Branches of Statistics. The Relationship Between Probability and Statistics.

2. Understanding and Organizing Business Data.

Understanding Observations. Organizing Observations into a Datafile. Exploring the Four Basic Data Types. Understanding the Limitations of Your Data Choices. Start Making Decisions by Creating Datafiles.

3. Visualizing Profit and Performance.

Turning Raw Data into Information. Examining Relationships with Scatterplots. Understanding the Types of Variables. Common Questions About Research Data.

4. Predicting Profits with Measures of—Central Tendency.

The Meaning of the Mean. The Mode-Not an Operation, but a Count. The Median-In the Middle of Everything. When to Use a Measure of Central Tendency.

5. Improving Quality with Measures of Dispersion.

Getting Started with Dispersion Measures. Recognizing the Variance. Introducing the All-Important Standard Deviation.

6. Solving Problems with Curves and z-Scores.

Introducing the Bell-Shaped Curve. Measuring the Standard Normal Distribution. Estimating the Number of Units That Are Substandard. Predicting Percentages with z-Scores. Skewed Curves and the Relation to a Standard Distribution.


7. Playing the Probability Game.

Introducing the Classic Theory of Probability. Sampling with Replacement. Dependent Events and Probability. Exploring Normal Curves and the Binomial Scale.

8. Forecasting Your Business Results.

Introducing the Components of Time Series Data. Working with Precalculated Business Data.

9. Making Decisions That Count.

Understanding the Key Decisions. Charting a Decision Tree. Learning by Example. Devising Strategies for Decision Making.


10. Using Research in Your Business.

Deciding When to Use Research. Developing a Basic Research Methodology. Identifying Appropriate Research Projects. Understanding the Levels of Research.

11. Eliminating the Bias in Your Research.

The Infinite Population in Applied Statistics. The Importance of Random Sampling. Choosing the Appropriate Sampling Methods. How Big Should the Sample Be?

12. Being Confident About Your Sample.

Conducting Bernoulli Trials. What About Interval and Ratio Samples? Determining a Confidence Interval. It Won't Work with Small Samples.

13. Testing Your Hypothesis.

Using the Normal Distribution to Answer Questions. Stating Hypotheses to Test Assumptions. Using a Five-Step Procedure for Testing a Hypothesis. Testing a Hypothesis.

14. Learning from Contingency Tables.

How to Create a Contingency Table. A Real Example of How It Works. Using Chi Square for Other Expected Frequencies. Try Using a Contingency Table On Your Own.


15. Recognizing the Relationships of Business Variables.

Starting with Correlation of Business Variables. Revealing Hidden Relationships with the Correlation Coefficient. Going Beyond Correlation to Prediction. Predicting Business Values. What Happens When You Have More Variables?

16. Estimating the Probability of Success—with the t- Test.

Understanding the Student's t Distribution. Using t to Test a Mean. Comparing Two Population Means Using t.

17. Are These Customers the Same or Different?

Testing the Mean, Standard Deviation Known. Working with Proportions and the z Distribution. Testing Two Population Proportions.

18. Getting Results from ANOVA.

Introducing the F distribution. Considering Two-Way Analysis of Variance.


19. Interpreting Business Data Correctly.

Beware of Nonrandom Nonsamples. Beware the Ploys of Advertisers. Use the Correct Scale. Correlation Needs Matched Pairs. Beware of Significant but Unimportant Findings. Beware of Data Mining Without Hypotheses. Avoid Extrapolation That Goes Beyond Observed Ranges. Avoid Basic Mistakes That Affect Business Results. From Inferences to Your Future.

20. Using Statistics Programs for Your Company.

Using Software That Simplifies the Details. What Can Statistics Programs Do? The Types of Statistical Programs. How Do You Choose? Things Statistics Software Can't Do. Go Get Yourself Some!

21. Advancing Your Business with Statistics.

More Statistical Functions to Learn. Where Can You Learn More? You're Ready to Compute!


Appendix A. Answer Key.

Appendix B. Statistics Formulas.

Appendix C. Sample Statistical Tables.

Appendix D. A Glossary of Statistical Terms.


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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    MANY errors in this book

    I like math so I bought this book to learn about statistics. There are so many errors in the first few chapters, I had to stop reading and buy a different book. From wrong figures, wrong explanations to just plain old typos. It is very confusing to read. Barnes & Noble was great, they gave me store credit for the book. Thank you.

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