Is it required for an MBA student to learn about statistics? The answer is ‘Yes’. A basic course on statistics is inevitable for an MBA program. Nowadays, managers in the business world face some important questions regarding their production and sales. What combination of features of a product is most desirable for consumers? Given the previous observations can we forecast future production and sales? How did we do last month? Can we compare between different industries on the basis of some criterion, such as profit, production, sales, input cost, etc? To that end, statistical analysis provides a systematic approach to answer these questions.
Realizing its importance in business analysis, many MBA and PGDM programs are already placing greater emphasis on statistics, especially on quantitative data analysis in their core curricula. The courses develop the skills and insights required to make effective use of statistical methods in the area of business analysis. The course structure on statistics should range from a rigorous training in the fundamentals of statistics, such as data analysis to applications of popular methodologies, such as sampling techniques, regression analysis and forecasting. Special importance should be given on the topics related to sampling methods, distribution of data and testing of hypothesis. Several schools also provide exposure to computer software (such as, SPSS, STATA, EViews) that implements key techniques.
However, a general fact is that the MBA students are less interested in statistics or more specifically the theoretical part of it, finding it too abstract. In this regard, teachers can play a crucial role. They can engage the students in a suitable way with statistics, challenging them with real-world exercises like finding errors in reported studies, designing experiments to test hypotheses in the real world, and analyzing real data which involves an understanding of how analytical and graphical techniques can be employed to summarize, display, and analyze data.
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