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The United States formally conducts a census of its entire population every ten years to analyze various demographics of our society However this process is terribly inefficient and can be a tremendous drain of time and financial resource and even with attempts to include literally every individual the census is not 100 accurate due to errors such as under-counting or misrepresenting Think how difficult it would be to accurately measure all customers of a business organization To do so would cause costs to skyrocket product prices would quickly follow the customer base would promptly switch to a competitor and the business would fail Pearson 2004 So how can a business with a limited amount of resources employ research techniques to examine and analyze a fairly accurate cross-section of its intended audience to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace By utilizing statistical analysis the benefits of business research will be two-fold it provides tools to summarize collected data eg central tendency as well as predicting future behavior in the marketplace eg frequency distribution Statistical thinking provides a valuable decision-making framework that can be used effectively for many management decisions Peason 2004 The following are several statistical concepts that will aid in eliminating much of the guesswork of business cost analysis a the measure of central tendency b the mean median and mode c the use of standard deviation and d sampling More commonly referred to as the average the measure of central tendency provides a singular value that is summarizes a set of data by locating the center Lind 2002 This value can be associated with a typical representative member from a grouping of data More descriptive than just a simple average of values this concept has several subsets that include the measures of mean average median and mode which are terms used to further describe a midpoint within a set of data Common business uses of these measures include a variety of tasks
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