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About this book

The new edition of this highly successful and popular textbook is a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to using and interpreting all the quantitative techniques that students will encounter in their later business and financial careers; from fundamental principles through to more advanced applications.
Topics are explained in a clear, friendly step-by-step style, accompanied by examples, exercises and activities, making the text ideal for self-tuition or for the student with no experience or confidence in working with numbers. This highly successful learning-by-doing approach, coupled with the book’s clear structure, will enable even the most maths-phobic student to understand these essential mathematical skills.
Comprehensive in both its scope of coverage and the range of abilities it caters for, this remains a core textbook for undergraduate students of business, management and finance, for whom Quantitative Methods modules will be a key component. It will also appeal to those on related MBA and postgraduate courses.

Table of Contents

Essential Maths

Frontmatter

1. Numbers and Symbols

Abstract
This chapter explains why numbers are important, both in society and in business. It reminds you about negative numbers and explains how to add, subtract, multiply and divide them and how to use brackets. It explains how to make rough estimates before using a calculator and how to round numbers. It goes on to describe how symbols can be used to represent general relationships between quantities and shows how symbols can be treated in a very similar way to numbers. It introduces the idea of a model and explains what a spreadsheet is.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

2. Simplifying Expressions

Abstract
In this chapter we see how to simplify expressions containing numbers and symbols. This involves adding and subtracting fractions, expanding brackets, factorising and powers.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

3. Solving Problems

Abstract
This chapter explains what equations are, how they arise and how to solve them. It also considers expressions that contain inequalities and how to rearrange them.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

4. Modelling Using Straight Lines

Abstract
This chapter explains how some equations, called linear equations, can be represented by a straight line on a graph and gives some examples of how such equations arise in business, management and finance.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

More Maths

Frontmatter

1. Some Special Equations

Abstract
This chapter explains how to solve two special types of equation: (i) those where the unknown is a power, and (ii) those known as quadratic equations.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

2. Modelling Using Curves

Abstract
This chapter explains how to sketch the graphs of a variety of curves and gives examples of how these curves arise in business, management and finance.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

3. Rates of Change

Abstract
This chapter explains how the slope or gradient of a curve can be used to find out how one quantity changes when another related one does, and how this can help us sketch curves and find their highest and lowest points.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

Describing Data

Frontmatter

1. Pictures of Data

Abstract
This chapter explains how to display numerical information and how to interpret critically pictures of data that you see elsewhere. It explains how the spreadsheet Microsoft® Excel and the statistical software SPSS can be used to draw graphs of data.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

2. Summarising Data

Abstract
This chapter describes how a set of numerical data can be described using a few summary quantities. It explains how to use these quantities to construct a box plot (a useful means of comparing two or more variables) and how to calculate index numbers.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

Probability

Frontmatter

1. Measuring Uncertainty

Abstract
This chapter describes how to calculate the probabilities of particular events happening.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

2. Numerical Outcomes

Abstract
The uncertain event of interest is often a measurement that takes a numerical value — for instance, the number of items that will be sold or the number of defective items in a batch. In this chapter we consider some of the patterns which the probabilities of such outcomes can have, called probability distributions.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

3. Continuous Numerical Outcomes

Abstract
In this chapter we consider the probabilities associated with continuous random variables; that is, numerical outcomes that can take any value within a range — for instance, the height of a 20-year-old male, the duration of a call to a call centre, or the depth of the sea at a randomly chosen point.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

4. Some More Probability Distributions

Abstract
This chapter considers two widely occurring discrete probability distributions (the binomial and the Poisson) and another continuous distribution, the exponential distribution. It explains how these occur naturally and how to know which distribution is likely to be appropriate for particular random variables.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

Statistics

Frontmatter

1. Estimation

Abstract
This chapter explains how to select a sample of data and use it to make valid inferences about the wider set of data or population it came from.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

2. Testing Hypotheses

Abstract
This chapter explains how to use a sample to test a theory about the larger set of data from which it is drawn.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

3. Correlation and Regression

Abstract
This chapter presents techniques for assessing the relationship, if any, between two variables and investigating whether one variable can be used to predict another.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

4. Comparing Two Populations

Abstract
In this chapter we use statistical techniques to compare two populations. For instance, to investigate the difference in average pay between males and females, to compare the petrol consumption of two brands of car or to assess the change in employees’ performance after training.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

5. Nonparametric Methods

Abstract
The statistical methods you have used so far usually assume that the data are normally distributed and/or that you have a large sample.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

6. Categorical Data

Abstract
This chapter considers estimation and testing for categorical data; that is, data that records a characteristic or quality, such as gender (male, female) or degree course (accountancy, business or economics).
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

7. Forecasting

Abstract
Data are frequently recorded at regular time intervals, for instance, daily stock market indices, the monthly rate of inflation or annual profit figures. In this chapter we show you how to display and model such data. We see how to detect trends and seasonal effects and use these to calculate seasonal indices and make forecasts.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

8. Statistics in Practice

Abstract
This chapter is a guide to using statistics on a real project. It considers how to approach a piece of work and how to select appropriate statistical methods.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

Business Modelling

Frontmatter

1. Linear Programming Models

Abstract
This chapter introduces linear programming, a way of calculating how to allocate limited resources like raw materials and labour to products or services to give the maximum possible profit or revenue. It explains how to set up a mathematical model of the situation and then solve it using a computer.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

2. Planning Projects

Abstract
Organisations frequently undertake projects that consist of many component parts that need to be completed by several departments and individuals. The parts are usually interrelated in the sense that some can’t begin until others have finished. This chapter explains how all the component parts can be represented on a diagram and how this can be used to ascertain how long the project will take to complete, when each component must start and by how much time components can be delayed without delaying the project.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

3. Models for Inventory Control

Abstract
Inventory means goods or materials stored ready for sale or for a subsequent part of the manufacturing process. This chapter considers some basic models for the changing level of inventory over time and uses them to determine how and when inventory should be replenished at minimum cost.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

4. Time and Money

Abstract
This chapter explains the basics of compound interest both for a single sum and for series of payments. It also considers how to assess the financial viability of a project from its costs and predicted income.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

5. Decision Making

Abstract
This chapter considers ways of summarising an organisational decision problem and hence determining which course of action is ‘best’ in some sense.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

6. Simulating Reality

Abstract
In this chapter we consider how to simulate the way a real-life system works over time.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff

7. Controlling Quality

Abstract
This chapter introduces Statistical Quality Control, a collection of techniques for monitoring and controlling quality with a view to reducing the proportion of defective goods and services.
Louise Swift, Sally Piff
Additional information