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

2,081 ratings
347 reviews

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. .\n\nThanks to Mr Sharad Borle for explaining very well the content in this course .

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276 - 300 of 346 Reviews for Basic Data Descriptors, Statistical Distributions, and Application to Business Decisions

By Shubham G

Apr 16, 2020

The course is very well organized and explained in a lucid manner by the instructor. It is beginner-friendly and can be done by anyone who wishes to study the basic application of business statistics. The instructor does explain the Normal, Poisson and the Binomial distributions but doesn't throw much light on as to in what scenarios should these distributions be used. Overall a nice course.

By shivansh s

Jun 17, 2020

This course help me to lear basic of Basic Data Descriptors, Statistical Distributions, and its Application to business. the last excercise of week 4 is awsome it really teach me the real application of the various topic which cover in the lecture .

Thank you Rice for this course and professor SHARAD BORLE for teaching in very easy way which make us to understand all topic well.

By Robert H

Aug 1, 2017

Clear and concise introduction to a number of statistical concepts. What this course lacks is application exercises in excel. It is taught well, but could benefit by expanding the course material to work with more problem sets in actual excel. For this one reason the cost of the course may not be worth it if you are unable to finish 2 to 3 courses in a month (imho).

By Abigail P

Mar 31, 2020

I really enjoyed the course and learned a great deal. My only recommendation for improvement was that I wish there were materials provided for additional/optional study outside of the existing coursework and testing--more like homework problems where we can work what we have learned, then check provided answers to see if we've done the various functions correctly.

By Pranjal S S

Oct 9, 2017

Wonderfully structured course!. There is something about this specialization, the manner in which it is created, that keeps you entrhalled all the time. Totally a big green light to someone looking to indulge oneself in the business statistics concepts. Thank you so much sir! Looking forward to other courses of the specialisation.


Mar 15, 2018

what a good course and i love all exercises special the 4 final exams each week and i want more exercise for practice some of exercises not easy to understand need to practice more every week

next time want to see more exercises or more outsources exams

By T T T

May 4, 2020

really loved this course. Totally compact and used as less many words as possible. Would have been better for me if they made me practice a lot more. But that does not mean that it won't suit others but the opposite. Thanks.

By Alex D

Apr 5, 2017

Contains all basic information on data descriptors, presented in a thorough and easy to understand way. More practice exercises (quizzes) would make it even better.

By Aakash G

May 4, 2020

It was wonderful to get a basic idea about different distribution methods but the only thing missing was a business problem from starting, a kind of small project.

By deepak m

Mar 28, 2018

I would like to go further in depth of the course for better understanding. I think I have got the topic but still far from understanding its business application.

By Faisal n K

Aug 21, 2020

Professor explained tough concepts in simple and plain language full marks but need to improve student support regarding queries related to concepts and quizzes.

By Shivam G

May 18, 2020

It was a nice experience of learning some new skills and having some practical implementation with the questions which were there in the quiz.

By Shreya M

Jul 8, 2017


By Viviana C

Mar 25, 2019

the last portion was really difficult to understand, the material was too general for the questions covered in the quiz.

By Ajay K J

Oct 12, 2020

Well explained and got to know how to use Excel. But it should have an optional topic to go deep if someone wants to.

By Berly E

Jul 31, 2020

I was not able to resolve the Question #5 using the Poisson formula. Not sure I understood this topic correctly.

By Saurabh M

Aug 2, 2017

This course was a little difficult compared to the previous course and involved a lot of theoretical concepts.

By Chintan D

Jun 12, 2020

The content was good and explained in simple words. However, I would have liked more real-life examples


Jan 30, 2019

Showing the key important thing for learning the basic statistical concept; Nice example and practice.

By Santiago R R

Jul 21, 2020

Excellent course, would really be 5 stars if the feedback on the assignments was a bit more helpful

By Ashis G

May 14, 2020

The interactive design of the course is instrumental in motivating the learners greatly.

By Tim L

Apr 29, 2018

Very good introduction to statistical distributions as it relates to business problems.


May 25, 2020

Clear explanations of concepts I haven't studied in any detail previously

By Daniel L

May 24, 2017

Overall, great course and straightforward expectations for the end goals.

By Samuel G

May 16, 2020

Good course but the quizzes could use better feedback on wrong answers.