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About Introductory Business Statistics 2e

Introductory Business Statistics 2e is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the one-semester statistics course for business, economics, and related majors. Core statistical concepts and skills have been augmented with practical business examples, scenarios, and exercises. The result is a meaningful understanding of the discipline which will serve students in their business careers and real-world experiences.

Coverage and scope

Introductory Business Statistics 2e began as a customized version of OpenStax Introductory Statistics by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean. Statistics faculty at The University of Oklahoma have used the business statistics adaptation for several years, and the author has continually refined it based on student success and faculty feedback.

The book is structured in a similar manner to most traditional statistics textbooks. The most significant topical changes occur in the latter chapters on regression analysis. Discrete probability density functions have been reordered to provide a logical progression from simple counting formulas to more complex continuous distributions. Many additional homework assignments have been added, as well as new, more mathematical examples.

Introductory Business Statistics 2e places a significant emphasis on the development and practical application of formulas so that students have a deeper understanding of their interpretation and application of data. To achieve this unique approach, the author included a wealth of additional material and purposely de-emphasized the use of the scientific calculator. Specific changes regarding formula use include:

  • Expanded discussions of the combinatorial formulas, factorials, and sigma notation
  • Adjustments to explanations of the acceptance/rejection rule for hypothesis testing, as well as a focus on terminology regarding confidence intervals
  • Deep reliance on statistical tables for the process of finding probabilities (which would not be required if probabilities relied on scientific calculators)
  • Continual and emphasized links to the Central Limit Theorem throughout the book; Introductory Business Statistics 2e consistently links each test statistic back to this fundamental theorem in inferential statistics

Another fundamental focus of the book is the link between statistical inference and the scientific method. Business and economics models are fundamentally grounded in assumed relationships of cause and effect. They are developed to both test hypotheses and to predict from such models. This comes from the belief that statistics is the gatekeeper that allows some theories to remain and others to be cast aside for a new perspective of the world around us. This philosophical view is presented in detail throughout and informs the method of presenting the regression model, in particular.

The correlation and regression chapter includes confidence intervals for predictions, alternative mathematical forms to allow for testing categorical variables, and the presentation of the multiple regression model.

Pedagogical features

  • Examples are placed strategically throughout the text to show students the step-by-step process of interpreting and solving statistical problems. To keep the text relevant for students, the examples are drawn from a broad spectrum of practical topics; these include examples about college life and learning, health and medicine, retail and business, and sports and entertainment.
  • Practice, Homework, and Bringing It Together give the students problems at various degrees of difficulty while also including real-world scenarios to engage students.
  • Try It practice problems immediately follow many examples and give students the opportunity to practice as they read the text.

Changes to the Second Edition

The revision of Introductory Business Statistics has been undertaken with the support of many faculty adopters and student users. Most of the edits are focused on currency, clarity, accuracy, and belonging. The author made a number of additions in order to provide more support and practice opportunities for students; these include conceptual explanations, introductory text, new Try It exercises, and more detailed example solution steps. Also, dozens of examples and references have been changed in order to align with contemporary contexts and uses. Accuracy checking and errata resolutions resulted in corrections and clarifications, both in the main text and in the answers/solutions. Finally, the second edition includes several hundred edits related to gender, race, ethnicity, age, academic status, and societal issues, designed to present the most informed and inclusive material.

OpenStax only undertakes revisions when pedagogically necessary, and we work to ensure that the text maintains its organization in order to ease transition for instructors. Many of the above changes have been made within problems and examples. However, in nearly all cases, the problems retain their original numbering, so that instructors and online homework providers can move to the new edition with minimal impact on their assignment structures. (This will not be the case for Try It exercises in many chapters, due to the addition of new exercises.) A detailed transition guide is available on the instructor resource page for this textbook.

Answers to Questions in the Book

Answers to Examples are provided directly under the question. Answers to Try it Questions are provided at the Student Resources page. Answers to an assortment of Practice, Homework, and Bringing it Together questions are available to students in the solutions section at the end of each chapter. All other answers to these questions are provided only to instructors in the Instructor Answer Guide via the Instructor Resources page.

Additional resources

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About the authors

Senior contributing authors

Alexander Holmes, The University of Oklahoma

Barbara Illowsky, DeAnza College

Susan Dean, DeAnza College

Contributing authors

Kevin Hadley, Analyst, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City


Birgit Aquilonius, West Valley College
Charles Ashbacher, Upper Iowa University - Cedar Rapids
Abraham Biggs, Broward Community College
Daniel Birmajer, Nazareth College
Roberta Bloom, De Anza College
Bryan Blount, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Ernest Bonat, Portland Community College
Sarah Boslaugh, Kennesaw State University
David Bosworth, Hutchinson Community College
Sheri Boyd, Rollins College
George Bratton, University of Central Arkansas
Franny Chan, Mt. San Antonio College
Jing Chang, College of Saint Mary
Laurel Chiappetta, University of Pittsburgh
Lenore Desilets, De Anza College
Matthew Einsohn, Prescott College
Ann Flanigan, Kapiolani Community College
David French, Tidewater Community College
Mo Geraghty, De Anza College
Larry Green, Lake Tahoe Community College
Michael Greenwich, College of Southern Nevada
Inna Grushko, De Anza College
Valier Hauber, De Anza College
Janice Hector, De Anza College
Jim Helmreich, Marist College
Robert Henderson, Stephen F. Austin State University
Mel Jacobsen, Snow College
Mary Jo Kane, De Anza College
John Kagochi, University of Houston - Victoria
Lynette Kenyon, Collin County Community College
Charles Klein, De Anza College
Alexander Kolovos
Sheldon Lee, Viterbo University
Sara Lenhart, Christopher Newport University
Wendy Lightheart, Lane Community College
Vladimir Logvenenko, De Anza College
Jim Lucas, De Anza College
Suman Majumdar, University of Connecticut
Lisa Markus, De Anza College
Miriam Masullo, SUNY Purchase
Diane Mathios, De Anza College
Robert McDevitt, Germanna Community College
John Migliaccio, Fordham University
Mark Mills, Central College
Cindy Moss, Skyline College
Nydia Nelson, St. Petersburg College
Benjamin Ngwudike, Jackson State University
Jonathan Oaks, Macomb Community College
Carol Olmstead, De Anza College
Barbara A. Osyk, The University of Akron
Adam Pennell, Greensboro College
Kathy Plum, De Anza College
Lisa Rosenberg, Elon University
Sudipta Roy, Kankakee Community College
Javier Rueda, De Anza College
Yvonne Sandoval, Pima Community College
Rupinder Sekhon, De Anza College
Travis Short, St. Petersburg College
Frank Snow, De Anza College
Abdulhamid Sukar, Cameron University
Jeffery Taub, Maine Maritime Academy
Mary Teegarden, San Diego Mesa College
John Thomas, College of Lake County
Philip J. Verrecchia, York College of Pennsylvania
Dennis Walsh, Middle Tennessee State University
Cheryl Wartman, University of Prince Edward Island
Carol Weideman, St. Petersburg College
Kyle S. Wells, Dixie State University
Andrew Wiesner, Pennsylvania State University


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© Dec 6, 2023 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.