Topics covered

  • What a researcher can do once he/she has either collected or secured access to good and relevant data. 
  • Simple descriptive statistics and reviewing basic notions about probability distributions.
  • Procedures used in inferring things about the population mean from a sample. We introduce the concept of hypothesis testing and examine how it can be used in business research. 
  • Review the equivalent statistical procedures to estimate and test hypotheses involving situations when the researcher is interested in the proportion of a population that has a certain characteristic.
  • Examines a few of the simple techniques used when the researcher wants to measure the interactions between variables. 
  • Examines some of the statistical procedures and techniques used when the researcher wants to use current and/or historical data to predict future business patterns. 
  • Nonparametric tests. These allow us to make less stringent assumptions about the parameters of the underlying but unobserved population. Nonparametric tests can be used on categorical and discrete data and are straightforward to compute.
  • In this topic we explore some of the issues relating to quality management and the techniques available to the manager to help monitor and improve the quality of products and services.

Learning outcomes

  • Describe and explain basic statistical concepts (including their empirical applications in a business context)
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the benefits and pitfalls of empirical techniques
  • Demonstrate basic proficiency in the use of Microsoft Excel
  • Explain, produce and display descriptive statistics from various data sets
  • Conduct basic statistical procedures using real business data (with pen and paper and with Microsoft Excel). These include: estimation, hypothesis tests, ANOVA, linear regressions, time-series analysis, index numbers and basic quality control analysis
  • Apply the procedures to analyse, and make recommendations on, a range of practical business problems
  • Offer a critical knowledge of statistical practices in the various functional areas of business (accounting, finance, management and marketing)


This module is assessed by a two hour unseen written examination.

Essential reading

  • Statistics for Managers Using MS Excel (Levine et al.)

Taster study material