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Problem Solving with Statistics


Many businesses and the sub-systems or processes on which they depend are the focus of "Continuous Improvement".  Once the obvious changes have been completed it becomes increasingly difficult to identify a path which can lead to better performance, whether this involves progressing from Good to Excellent, from Acceptable to Good, or from Unacceptable to Acceptable.  There are many tools and techniques which can be used to aid this quest, including those that have a basis in statistics.

This module describes the general context in which statistical techniques are appropriate, and when they are not.  It indicates the basis of statistics as a means of modelling the system under consideration, and describes some of the tools for investigating processes, either to solve specific problems or to gain insights to support future development and improvement.


To gain experience and understanding of the following:

  • The development of Statistical models to represent "real life" systems.
  • The use of Statistical models in Problem Solving and Decision Making.
  • The relationship between Statistical methods and other Problem Solving techniques.
  • The extension of basic tools into more powerful techniques.


  • Statistical models and "real world" systems.
  • Statistical Distributions (Continuous and Discrete).
  • Exploratory Data Analysis.
  • Sampling and Inference
  • Regression and Correlation
  • Introduction to Decision Analysis
  • Design of experiments.
  • Model Building.


All students must provide a calculator for personal use on the module, preferably one with statistical functions and the operating manual.

Students should be familiar with basic probability theory (see, for example, Daniel & Terrell, Chapter 3, or Mandenhall & Sincich, Chapter 3 or Hines & Montgomery, Chapter 2)


5 days




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