Concepts and Terminology of Statistics Applied to Business Decision Making


            Company W, recently acquired by WidgeCorp, utilizes different management styles and decision making processes than their parent company. Within a year, Company W and WidgeCorp will merge all management, process and accounting functions. Company W will be expected to adopt statistical methods in presenting relevant information to the WidgeCorp executives rather than relying on the experience and judgment of their managers.

            To assist the marketing department, this report will suggest quantitative objects used in tracking callers of the 1-800 phone bank and/or their behavior with respect to the snack food category. It will also indicate whether the quantitative objects are continuous or discrete.

Discrete and Continuous Variables

            Discrete variables are those which can assume a finite number of values such as integers or sets of states. Examples are items that can be counted, a yes/no response, and days of the week.

            Continuous variables are those with an infinite number of values such as scientific measurements and monetary items.

Suggested Quantitative Objects

            A caller to the 1-800 call bank is most likely a current customer calling about a product or experience which leads to a somewhat biased sampling. If there is value in surveying existing customers, then the 1-800 call bank is a viable option; however, for a true random sampling, another data collection method targeting a wider population would need to be devised.    

            Age is a major consideration in marketing discretionary items such as snack foods in order to target the most profitable demographics and to develop products and marketing strategies directed toward age groups not as inclined to purchase snack items. Age is a discrete data object subject to statistical analysis but not readily manipulated mathematically.

            The estimated amount of money spent on snack items weekly...