593 words - 3 pages

In a world ridden with endless problems and possibilities, it is statistics that is relied upon to find solutions to the problems and help determine what possibilities are truly feasible.

Statistics may be best defined as the means by which data is gathered, analyzed, and interpreted to better understand a problem or situation. There are two types of data that can be analyzed in statistics. These are quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data deals with actual numbers and percentages, things that can be measured. Qualitative data deals with things which cannot be measured, but only perceived, such as color, texture, or odor. For example, one may say that a painting’s dimensions are 15” by 20”. This is quantitative data. One may then say that the painting’s primary color used is yellow. This is qualitative data. Quantitative data deals with quantity, where qualitative data deals with quality.

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Statistics help see the big picture, ensure quality, and reinforce proposals. Using statistics, management is able to see the company’s trends and determine which action to take to stay the course or right the wrongs. Management can also evaluate production and efficiency levels to ensure there is no wasted movement in the company. Management may also use statistics to provide projections that back current project proposals, evaluating potential profits and losses in the process.

Let us examine some real-world scenarios that utilize statistics. In the first scenario, an aspiring entrepreneur wants to start up his own business but is unsure whether or not it will be profitable. Using statistics, he analyzes market data and projected profits and determines his business will be worth the upstart cost. Secondly, a business wants to maximize profits and analyze areas where costs could be cut. Using statistics, the business analyzes production and efficiency and sees a hole in production that could save the company thousands of dollars if fixed. Lastly, using statistics, a company analyzes potential profits or losses associated with a potential merger to determine whether the union would be in the best interest of the company. Determining profits would double through statistical analysis, the merger goes through and both companies benefit.

Though just a brief overview of statistics, it should not be understated just how often statistics is used and how truly beneficial it is for personal uses as well as business needs. Using statistics, individuals are better able to understand the world around them and take advantage of opportunities while avoiding possible dangers.

References

Data Levels of Measurement - Statistics Solutions. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2015, from http://www.statisticssolutions.com/data-levels-of-measurement/

McClave, J., & Benson, P. (2011). Statistics for business and economics (11th ed.). Boston: Prentice Hall.

Williams, J. (n.d.). The Importance of Statistics in Management Decision Making. Retrieved February 23, 2015, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/importance-statistics-management-decision-making-4589.html

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