Numbers and measurements are the language of business. Organizations look at results in many ways: expenses, quality levels, efficiencies, time, costs, etc. What measures does your department keep track of? Are they descriptive or inferential data, and what is the difference between these? (Note: If you do not have a job where measures are available to you, ask someone you know for some examples, or conduct outside research on an interest of yours, or use personal measures.)


Things vary in life – virtually nothing (except physical standards such as the speed of light) we interact with is constant over time. Much of this variation follows somewhat predictable patterns that can be examined using probability. An example of a subjective probability is: “Cops usually do not patrol this road, so I can get away with speeding.” An empirical probability example is: “Each production run has a 5% reject rate.” A classical (or theoretical) probability example is: “This die has six sides, so I should see the number 2 come up 1/6th of the time.”

What are some examples of probability outcomes in your work or life? How would looking at them in terms of probabilities help us understand what is going on? How does the normal curve relate to activities/things you are associated with?