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Quantitative Techniques - Business Statistics - Business Statistics - Quantitative Methods
November 14, 2003

There can be very few business and management lecturers who have not used at least one of the previous five editions of Quantitative Techniques by Terry Lucey, who for many years has been considered one of the leading writers in this field. The new edition contains all that is expected, but its presentation and ease of reading have been improved.

Lucey has updated the assessment material and included examination material from a number of professional bodies, and this is of particular value. The addition of the learning objectives, together with the self-review questions and exercises with answers, is also a notable and worthwhile change.

For lecturers, there is a free supplement that includes answers to the examination questions in the assessment and revision exercises and a set of overhead-projector masters of the key diagrams in the book. This book is excellent value for any students enrolled on professional body programmes, Btec courses and business-study undergraduate programmes.

The highly comprehensive Business Statistics: A First Course by David Levine, Timothy Krehbiel and Mark Berenson has a depth of content that makes it more than a standard text but also an excellent reference book.

The grammar, style and content will suit all students on undergraduate programmes, including final year. I particularly like the free CD-Rom, since it has all the Excel datasets required to work through the examples.

The CD offers a different approach to Lucey's book, but this is reasonable since Lucey has provided for the needs of professional students.

Levine et al have been successful in their efforts to explain how to use Excel as a support tool for the techniques. Any student who is unused to using Excel should have no fears in purchasing this book. I also like the "using business statistics scenario". Here, the authors have used the various functional areas of business as an application tool to aid the understanding of the statistical techniques. These business scenarios include e-marketing, finance, management and accounting information systems; and this approach will make the text one that MBA students will appreciate.

A very different but well-presented and thorough book is Bus iness Statistics: A Multimedia Guide to Concepts and Applications by Chris Robertson and Moya McCloskey. This takes the reader through all the major topic areas that a business-studies and social-science student will need.

Its comprehensive approach is also ably supported with a CD-Rom. The quality of the presentation and structure of this disc are highly valuable, and students will find it easy to use.

Each chapter begins with a non-quantitative description of the topic, which allows the less numerate reader to understand the issues being debated without getting involved in the mathematical techniques: a great strength.

The statistical techniques follow but in such a way as to provide more than adequate learning support. The book assumes only a little mathematical knowledge, which in my view works. Each chapter includes a set of learning objectives at the beginning and a very useful summary at the end. I would recommend this text to a wide range of students from Btec through to MBA.

The case studies throughout the text will be of immense value in teaching statistical methods to an MBA student.

If students are seeking an approach to learning quantitative techniques to get them through an examination, then they would do well to purchase Quantitative Methods: Success in your Business Degree by Stewart Macleod and Gordon Ferrier. This handy, pocket-sized, no-frills text is well structured and is excellent value. It deals with all the standard quantitative methods and techniques required for an undergraduate programme.

Each chapter has easy-to-follow features that students and lecturers will find useful, including a summary statement, crucial tips and concepts, quick tests and essential reading and research. At the end of each chapter there is a suggestion for further research, which lecturers will be able to use to create good assignment material.

The introduction will be of immense value to students embarking on a university course for the first time. It covers topics such as learning from classes, using textbooks and libraries, and passing a quantitative examination. The last of these is surely what holds the greatest fear for students. A highly recommended text.

Rod Gunn is associate director, Business School, University of Glamorgan.

Quantitative Techniques

Author - Terry Lucey
Publisher - Thomson Learning
Pages - 558
Price - £24.99
ISBN - 1 84480 106 3

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