In the sixth edition of Complete Business Statistics, we focus on many improvements in the text, driven largely by recommendations from dedicated users and others who teach business statistics. In their reviews, they suggested ways to improve the book by enhancing the Excel feature, by adding new content and pedagogy, and by updating the source material. One of the many improvements is the thorough integration of Microsoft Excel into the sixth edition. Although Excel templates were introduced in previous editions of the book, regular Excel has been woven into the fabric of the text and the pedagogy for the first time with this edition. Thus Excel is now integrated more where it is applicable and has been made an even more prominent part of the text.
The motivation for this change is the omnipresence of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office software in the workplace, along with the increasing demand of many business schools that instruction in the use of Microsoft Excel be included in the objectives of their courses in business statistics. Certainly statistical software packages continue to be used in business statistics courses, and few would disagree that for some statistical applications these packages are superior to Excel. Despite the more prominent treatment of Excel in the sixth edition, the use of alternative statistical packages remains a viable option for those who prefer them. Today, however, an overwhelming majority of managers and other practitioners in business have immediate access to Excel. Our increased emphasis on Excel in the sixth edition of Complete Business Statistics is a response to the realities of today’s business environment, the worldwide computing environment, and the students we teach who are preparing to join these communities.
Other improvements to the sixth edition include revision of and additions to the Excel templates. Although templates are not without disadvantages—most serious is the possibility that students will use templates without understanding the concepts behind them—we believe that the benefits of using templates outweigh their liabilities. Note also that although we believe templates are useful and efficient aids to problem solving, illustrations for manual calculations have been retained so that students can calculate manually any result found in a template. Besides these changes, the sixth edition offers the following improvements:
1 Learning objectives in every chapter.
2. Many new problems and examples.
3. New cases, incorporating the use of Excel and Excel templates, in several chapters.
4. New material on the joint probability table in Chapter 2, Probability.
5. New material on the sum and linear composites of random variables and a new section on
value at risk in Chapter 3, Random Variables, as well as updates facilitated by the use of new
6. New content on degrees of freedom in Chapter 5, Sampling and Sampling Distributions.
7. A new section on computing beta in Chapter 7, Hypothesis Testing.
8. New material on covariance and a new template in the section titled “Linear Composites of
Random Variables” in Chapter 10, Simple Linear Regression and Correlation. This material has
direct applications in financial portfolio formation.
9. New chapter appendixes with screen shots have been added to many chapters to illustrate the
use of Excel and Excel commands.
10. Visual Statistics, available with the fifth edition for the first time on its student CD-ROM, has been further integrated into the textbook in this edition by use of the “VS” icon in the margins of the
book. This icon indicates those content areas in the text where students might benefit from additional
study by accessing Visual Statistics on the student CD for additional study and practice.
Thus far we have focused on the changes to the sixth edition. Just as important as what has been added to the book, however, is what has been retained. As with previous editions, all the important subjects within business statistics are covered, though they are emphasized in a new light for this edition to reflect the evolution of business practices. Topics that are not widely taught at business schools have been abridged, and some statistical methods with less-than-universal applicability in today’s business world have been omitted. A portion of Chapter 16, Sampling, has been incorporated into Chapter 5, Sampling and Sampling Distributions. The entire Chapter 16 is also available on the student CD-ROM packaged with the text. Chapter 17, Multivariate Statistics, is also included on the student CD-ROM. Both of these chapters contain learning objectives and updates. The sixth edition, like its predecessors, retains its global emphasis, maintaining its position of being at the vanguard of international issues in business. The economies of countries around the world are becoming increasingly intertwined. Events in Asia and the Middle East have direct impact on Wall Street, and the Russian economy’s move toward capitalism has immediate effects on Europe as well as on the United States. The publishing industry, in which large international conglomerates have acquired entire companies; the financial industry, in which stocks are now traded around the clock at markets all over the world; and the retail industry, which now offers consumer products that have been manufactured at a multitude of different locations throughout the world—all testify to the ubiquitous globalization of the world economy. A large proportion of the problems and examples in this new edition are concerned with international issues. We hope that instructors welcome this approach as it increasingly reflects that context of almost all business issues.
Amir D. Aczel & Jayavel Sounderpandian
Boston University University of Wisconsin–Parkside