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# Business Statistics (8th Edition)

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## Book Preface

In today’s workplace, students can have an immediate competitive edge over both new graduates and experienced employees if they know how to apply statistical analysis skills to realworld decision-making problems.

Our intent in writing Business Statistics: A Decision-Making Approach is to provide an introductory business statistics text for students who do not necessarily have an extensive mathematics background but who need to understand how statistical tools and techniques are applied in business decision making.

This text differs from its competitors in three key ways:

1. Use of a direct approach and concepts and techniques consistently presented in a systematic and ordered way.
2. Presentation of the content at a level that makes it accessible to students of all levels of mathematical maturity. The text features clear, step-by-step explanations that make learning business statistics straightforward.
3. Engaging examples, drawn from our years of experience as authors, educators, and consultants, to show the relevance of the statistical techniques in realistic business decision situations.

Regardless of how accessible or engaging a textbook is, we recognize that many students do not read the chapters from front to back. Instead, they use the text “backward.” That is, they go to the assigned exercises and try them, and if they get stuck, they turn to the text to look for examples to help them. Thus, this text features clearly marked, step-by-step examples that students can follow. Each detailed example is linked to a section exercise, which students can use to build specific skills needed to work exercises in the section. Each chapter begins with a clear set of specific chapter outcomes. The examples and practice exercises are designed to reinforce the objectives and lead students toward the desired outcomes. The exercises are ordered from easy to more difficult and are divided into categories: Conceptual, Skill Development, Business Applications, and Database Exercises.

Another difference is the importance this text places on data and how data are obtained. Many business statistics texts assume that data have already been collected. We have decided to underscore a more modern theme: Data are the starting point. We believe that effective decision making relies on a good understanding of the different types of data and the different data collection options that exist. To highlight our theme, we begin a discussion of data and collecting data in Chapter 1 before any discussion of data analysis is presented. In Chapters 2 and 3, where the important descriptive statistical techniques are introduced, we tie these statistical techniques to the type and level of data for which they are best suited.

Although we know that the role of the computer is important in applying business statistics, it can be overdone at the beginning level to the point where instructors are required to spend too much time teaching the software and too little time teaching statistical concepts. This text features Excel and Minitab but limits the inclusion of software output to those areas where it is of particular advantage to beginning students.