DSC325-FALL2014-Lec[1][1]

DSC325-FALL2014-Lec[1][1] - UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN...

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UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS BUSINESS DIVISION DSC 325 Lecture 1 - FALL 2014 STATISTICS FOR MANAGEMENT DECISIONS Introduction to Statistics What is Statistics? When asked to provide examples of statistics, most people will refer to examples given in periodicals like newspapers, magazines, government publications, the Guinness Book of Records, etc. Fortune Magazine: The richest person is so and so and is worth so many billions of dollars. US News and World Report: The top ten MBA programs are housed at such and such universities. Guinness Book of Records: The most pierced man - Antonio Aguero (Cuba) has 230 piercings on his body and head. The following are also common used of the word – statistics: (1) a branch of mathematics, (2) A course of study, (3) Facts and figures, (4) Measurements taken on a sample, (5) People who encounter unfortunate fates like catching HIV, dying or getting involved in an accident. (6) The science of gathering, analyzing, presenting, and interpreting data. Newspapers carry stories that report descriptors such as crime rates, poverty rates, stock prices, accidents, interest rates, and so on. These descriptors are correctly referred to as statistics; however, this is a small part of a discipline that shares the name statistics. Statistics as a discipline provides a wide variety of methods that are used in analyzing, presenting and interpreting data for the sake of informed decision making. We live in a world that is full of uncertainties, and a seemingly chaotic one. At most times it is difficult for us to grasp what is going on or why events take place. Although most of us have the senses of seeing, hearing, touching, 1
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etc., it is still difficulty to interpret what goes on in the world. To simplify life in the seemingly chaotic world we come up with wise sayings, adages, maxims, mottoes and slogans, But as the world changes on us, these tools change into platitudes, cliche s or stereotypes. Some may be tempted to venture into superstition and mysticism. If the first animal you see when you first step out of your house is a black cat, be ware! That is a bad omen. The day is going to be bad. Don’t take any risks on Friday the thirteenth! You may become a statistic! Be ware of full-moon days! All locos, nuts, and crazies are out there when it is full moon. We have spiritualists, tarot card readers like Ms Cleo on TV, palm readers, mystics, mediums, clairvoyants, psychics, people with esp., and so on. All those are cashing on our states of uncertainty and confusion. In essence all of us have some degree of blindness and cannot quite interpret what we observe or feel; but, should one make decisions based on input from mystics, spiritualists, tarot card-readers, mediums and the like? Statistics may be described as the technology of the scientific method. It consists of tools that are used to facilitate the making of decisions whenever conditions of uncertainty prevail.
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