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Statistics for Decision Making


Statistics is the science of gathering and evaluating data to find inconsistencies.  Statistics helps companies determine, for a particular question or situation, the type of data that is necessary, how it should be gathered and analyzed in order to answer or find the best solution.


There are different types and levels of statistics.  Qualitative and quantitative data are two types of statistics.  Qualitative data are nonnumeric.  Quantitative data are numeric.  Qualitative data refers to descriptions such as condition, colors, and types.  Quantitative data are numeric data that have a finite number of possible values (, 7/11).  There are also different levels of measurement.  The four levels are nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio.  Nominal measurement uses numbers to classify the data set.  Words and letters can also be used to describe the data such as ‘M’ for males and ‘F’ for females.  The ordinal level of measurement shows an order of relationship between the numbers of items being measured.  The interval level of measurement shows the distances between the intervals of measurement on the graph or scale of measurement from low to high.  The ratio level of measurements can have a zero value.  The distances on the scale between the points are equal.


Statistics plays an important role in business decision-making.  Managers are able to find answers to uncertainties regardless of the large amounts of data collected.  It can help management take an unbiased look at the over-all picture of a given situation so that they can be better informed to make smart decisions (Hearst Newspapers, 2014).


Statistics is used in many different situations.  One example is the sports industry.  The owner of a sports team that wants to find out if they should hire a pitcher based on their number of games won, batting average, and home runs.  They would use statistics to create a graph to compare the differences between the candidates to see who is the best based on the criteria.  Another example would be how the US Government may use statistics to solve domestic issues that have to do with healthcare.  Samples of the population may be polled to find out what the needs of the people are and how best to address those needs.


In conclusion, statistics is used in every area of business decision-making.  It provides and advantage in business by summarizing and enhancing the understanding of the company’s needs and how to reach goals.