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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Basic Data Descriptors, Statistical Distributions, and Application to Business Decisions by Rice University

2,376 ratings

About the Course

The ability to understand and apply Business Statistics is becoming increasingly important in the industry. A good understanding of Business Statistics is a requirement to make correct and relevant interpretations of data. Lack of knowledge could lead to erroneous decisions which could potentially have negative consequences for a firm. This course is designed to introduce you to Business Statistics. We begin with the notion of descriptive statistics, which is summarizing data using a few numbers. Different categories of descriptive measures are introduced and discussed along with the Excel functions to calculate them. The notion of probability or uncertainty is introduced along with the concept of a sample and population data using relevant business examples. This leads us to various statistical distributions along with their Excel functions which are then used to model or approximate business processes. You get to apply these descriptive measures of data and various statistical distributions using easy-to-follow Excel based examples which are demonstrated throughout the course. To successfully complete course assignments, students must have access to Microsoft Excel. ________________________________________ WEEK 1 Module 1: Basic Data Descriptors In this module you will get to understand, calculate and interpret various descriptive or summary measures of data. These descriptive measures summarize and present data using a few numbers. Appropriate Excel functions to do these calculations are introduced and demonstrated. Topics covered include: • Categories of descriptive data • Measures of central tendency, the mean, median, mode, and their interpretations and calculations • Measures of spread-in-data, the range, interquartile-range, standard deviation and variance • Box plots • Interpreting the standard deviation measure using the rule-of-thumb and Chebyshev’s theorem ________________________________________ WEEK 2 Module 2: Descriptive Measures of Association, Probability, and Statistical Distributions This module presents the covariance and correlation measures and their respective Excel functions. You get to understand the notion of causation versus correlation. The module then introduces the notion of probability and random variables and starts introducing statistical distributions. Topics covered include: • Measures of association, the covariance and correlation measures; causation versus correlation • Probability and random variables; discrete versus continuous data • Introduction to statistical distributions ________________________________________ WEEK 3 Module 3: The Normal Distribution This module introduces the Normal distribution and the Excel function to calculate probabilities and various outcomes from the distribution. Topics covered include: • Probability density function and area under the curve as a measure of probability • The Normal distribution (bell curve), NORM.DIST, NORM.INV functions in Excel ________________________________________ WEEK 4 Module 4: Working with Distributions, Normal, Binomial, Poisson In this module, you'll see various applications of the Normal distribution. You will also get introduced to the Binomial and Poisson distributions. The Central Limit Theorem is introduced and explained in the context of understanding sample data versus population data and the link between the two. Topics covered include: • Various applications of the Normal distribution • The Binomial and Poisson distributions • Sample versus population data; the Central Limit Theorem...

Top reviews


Aug 20, 2021

This was a really enjoyable course, but challenging too. I struggled a bit with the final assignment, but nailed it in the end. My statistical knowledge base has indeed been enhanced by this course.


Aug 26, 2020

This is one of the best courses i have atended since, the exercises are all related to the topic.Great job. .

Thanks to Mr Sharad Borle for explaining very well the content in this course .

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26 - 50 of 401 Reviews for Basic Data Descriptors, Statistical Distributions, and Application to Business Decisions

By Connie W

Apr 16, 2020

I really like how the professor structures the class and videos. The videos are all very concise yet full of useful information, and the explanations are always clear and easy to follow. The examples used in videos are well selected and extremely helpful to understand how statistical concepts can be applied to solving real life problems.

By Victor A

Dec 11, 2021

The content load is just right for beginnners (which is my case). I feel I learned more from this course than from my Stats class in college, at least the concepts are clearer, even though I was using for the past decade some of the calculations taught in this course, but now I feel more confident in knowing what I'm doing.

By NG, S L

Jun 10, 2021

Overall, a nice introductory course to statistics in a well-paced and clear manner. One thing for improvement is to add some questions of similar difficulty to the practice quizzes as they are in the real quizzes. I believe this can further consolidate our understanding and test the waters of the real quizzes.

By Sabarish V

Dec 29, 2018

The course content was concise enough to breeze through it in under a dozen hours (for an engineer). The assignments and practice quizzes were very helpful. I was a bit disappointed that the content was very basic, but then again, this was not advertised as an advanced course.

By Hari T

Jun 12, 2021

I really love the course. It's great for those who are starting Statistics. It doesn't go in much detail but gives necessary details for understanding concepts. The focus is rather on understanding than memorizing formula. Learning Excel along with Statistics is really good.


Jun 22, 2017

Excellent course, which is very well developed by Prof. Sharad. It is must for those who wish to understand the applicability of Probability concept in business decision making. On my part, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenging Quizzes, and at the end it was worth it!

By Lev F

Mar 12, 2021

Another great course that's part of the Business Statistics specialization through Rice University. I liked it as much as the previous course in the specialization. This is the best and fastest way to learn statistics and start applying to business use cases.

By Anita Y

Sep 1, 2020

This is one of the best courses in statistics. All concepts were explained in very simplified way. The instructor has a good command over the subject and is able to teach it in a clear and easy to understand way. The course curriculum is also well designed.

By Leonel G

Apr 26, 2020

This course is very good. I have taken several courses on statistics, and this one is the first one (along with the following three courses in the specialization)0 that gives me real-life scenarios and knowledge I can use in my work; strongly recommended.

By Scott L

Jun 24, 2018

I enjoyed this course. It was a good introduction to each concept with enough practice to help learn. Would need to be supplemented with more real world practice before i would feel comfortable using at work. Specifically, understanding random sampling.

By Sean E B

Oct 29, 2017

The mathematical formulas can be a little confusing if you're not familiar with statistical math, but this is not the fault of the lecturer obviously.

Overall, a nicely explained and set out course. Really helpful and understandable for beginners.

By Bonnie A K

Sep 25, 2021

Dr. Borle has an amazing gift to organize and present complex topics in a way that's easy to follow. The course ties together well, materials are well presented and easy to use. I found Dr. Borle's videos educational, engaging and to the point.

By Yury V

Aug 13, 2017

This is an amazing course, very useful to those who works with large massive of data everyday. Materials offered in this course are very useful to analyze business processes. I would highly recommend this course to my colleagues and friends.

By Akash K

Mar 18, 2021

The instructor explained the topics very clearly and with real applications which helped me to understand the core concepts of descriptive statistics. Highly recommend others to try the course if considering Data Scientist as a career path.


Oct 14, 2020

Loved this course. Added to basic knowledge of statistics and majorly probability. I have always been scared of probability and its concept. Thanks to Prof Sharad for explaining each topic that sounds easy and made learning much easier.

By Rebecca L

Apr 9, 2017

The instructor's approach to presenting the basics of statistics as well as the application of excel functions is by far the best I've experienced in statistics courses. This is a refresher for me, and, I'm really enjoying it!

By Mohammad R

Jan 6, 2021

I was confident as this was my first course in this specialization. The videos and pdf slides make your work quite easy. The rest is tackled by the assignments. You have to be regular and follow up properly. Lots of learning.

By jorge l

Jun 4, 2018

It was great. Test was a little bit difficult for me, however after revising and studying again the lessons I was finally able to pas it, most important thing was not to pass the test but to understand the material better.

By Alex M

Mar 1, 2018

I liked how straightforward it was. Straight into the materials and their explanations, with examples, well explained, and all in very well paced videos. The mini-quizzes at the end of each lesson were also a major help.


Sep 26, 2018

Over a short span of a month, it feels as though I've progressed from extremely less to significantly good knowledge on Data descriptors and statistical distributions on a business perspective thanks to the course.

By Nihar R P T

Aug 30, 2020

Excellent course and very detailed explanation, learned a lot of new things, the test was quite well designed to test the fundamental understanding. my appreciation and gratitude to RICE university and faculties.

By Mainpal S

Nov 20, 2020

Very essential course for fundamentals of data manipulation. Good content and the instructor. The discussion forum is also a good learning platform for attendees. Enjoyed doing the course. Thanks to Prof Borde.

By vaibhav s

Sep 17, 2020

Excellent for people who love probability and statistics. This course is best for knowing the excel functions for distributions such as normal, binomial, Poisson, etc. and its application to business problems.

By Jimin J

Jul 11, 2021

All essential data descriptors are covered with appropriate examples which help to understand and grasp the concept better.

There is scope to add content for statistical distributions for discreet data.

By shukri A

Oct 18, 2021

The course was fun and easy to follow through and i liked that when encountered with problem there is a discussion forum where facilitators and fellow students helped in solving it.

thank you professor