Assignment: Applying Descriptive Statistics
Consider the following scenario:
After Clark Maxwell met with a lawyer to discuss closing his furniture business and declaring bankruptcy, he wondered how things got to where they were. He knew that his two main struggles had been with employees and products. It seemed that he either had too many employees at a given time to afford the weekly payroll or he had to pay a premium for using day laborers and temp workers to make up for labor shortages. As far as product was concerned, he often had too much of one product that he had to discount to get rid of or he did not have enough of another product to meet the demand. He wished that he could have the success of his cousin, Cait, who never seemed to have these problems with the flooring store she owned. They were in similar industries, he thought, so what was her secret to success?
The secret to Cait’s business (in comparison to Clark’s, at least) had to do with the way she applied descriptive statistics to her business. By reviewing her data, she was able to determine how many full- and part-time employees she would need, as well as how that changed depending on different variables in her community. She also made efforts to gather information on consumer’s tastes and preferences in order to have the more valuable (and profitable) carpet in stock and ready to sell.
In this Assignment, you will consider basic concepts of descriptive statistics and how they can be used in business.
To prepare for this Assignment:
- Review this week’s Learning Resources.
- Refer to the Academic Writing Expectations for 2000/3000-Level Courses as you compose your Assignment.
By Day 7
Submit your responses to the following prompts.
- Consider the following questions:
- How much does milk cost on the East Coast of the United States?
- How many minutes does it take to drive 30 miles at an average speed of 55 miles per hour?
- What is the age difference between you and your siblings?
- How many hours of sleep do teenagers get during the school year compared to summer vacation?
Define each question as being or not being a statistical question and explain why. (75–150 words or 1–2 paragraphs)
- Joan Horton is a building contractor whose company builds many homes every year. In planning for each job, Joan needs some idea about the direct labor hours per square foot required to build a home. She has collected sample information on the labor hours for 10 jobs during the past year. (300 words, or 4 paragraphs)
- Calculate the mean for this sample. How can Joan use this information?
- Calculate the median from this sample. If Joan had to select the mean or the median as the estimate of direct labor hours, what factors about each statistic should she consider before making the decision?
- Calculate the sample variance and standard deviation. How can Joan use these values in planning future jobs?
- One of Joan’s competitors, J.M. Sawyer, has numbers claiming that his crews average 350 hours per square foot, with a standard deviation of 50. Sawyer further claims that his company is more consistent in direct labor hours applied to houses than Horton’s company. Who is right, and why?
- The weekly total of hours for the servers and the cooks for a small restaurant are listed below. Find the range, variance, and standard deviation for each set. Which set of data is more variable? (75–150 words, or 1–2 paragraphs)