Decision Making

Practical Statistics: Using Basic Statistics to Make Better Decisions

Practical Statistics: Using Basic Statistics to Make Better Decisions
May 22, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

Arguably, everyone wants to make better decisions, be they personal or professional. One way to do that is to learn something about basic probability and statistics. However, for most people this is a frightening prospect.


What beginners need to cross the chasm is a simple (not to be confused with simplistic), basic, yet systemic book on the subject. Sounds easy enough. However, when I tried to find such a book for an undergraduate statistics class I was teaching,  I could not find one.


Most statistics books, even the so-called easy ones with titles which suggest that anyone can learn statistics by reading them, do not focus on statistical reasoning and practical application. Instead, they emphasize theory and mathematical manipulation. As a result, many people trying to learn the essentials of this important subject (particularly the majority who are not strong in math) find themselves intimidated and confused, rather than engaged and informed.


Frustrated by my search for a simple, basic, and systemic book on the subject to using statistics to make better decisions, I decided to write my own. The result was Practical Statistics.