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Qmb Course Guide

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ECOM90009 Quantitative Methods for Business
SUBJECT GUIDE
Second Semester, 2012

Prepared by: Dr. Michael Coelli Department of Economics Faculty of Business and Economics

Contents
Contents ...................................................................................................................................... 2 Subject Outline ........................................................................................................................... 3 Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 3 Subject Aims .......................................................................................................................... 3 Prescribed References ............................................................................................................ 3 Learning Outcomes .................................................................................................................... 3 Subject Objectives .................................................................................................................. 3 Generic Skills ......................................................................................................................... 4 Awareness Issues.................................................................................................................... 4 Prerequisites ............................................................................................................................... 5 Contact Details ........................................................................................................................... 5 Academic Staff Contact Details ............................................................................................. 5 Email Protocol ........................................................................................................................ 5 Seminars ..................................................................................................................................... 6 Seminar Times........................................................................................................................ 6 Seminar Participation Requirements ...................................................................................... 6 Seminar Schedule ................................................................................................................... 6 Using Lecture Capture ........................................................................................................... 7 Workshops .................................................................................................................................. 7 Workshop Schedule................................................................................................................ 7 Workshop Participation Requirements................................................................................... 7 Assessment ................................................................................................................................. 8 Assessment Overview ............................................................................................................ 8 Assignments ........................................................................................................................... 8 Mid-semester exam ................................................................................................................ 9 End-of-semester exam ............................................................................................................ 9 Exam Policy ........................................................................................................................... 9 Using the Assignment Tool .................................................................................................. 10 Plagiarism and Collusion ..................................................................................................... 10 Late Submission ................................................................................................................... 10 Special Consideration ........................................................................................................... 11 Group Work.......................................................................................................................... 11 Further Assistance .................................................................................................................... 11 Subject Coordinator Consultations....................................................................................... 11 Workshops ............................................................................................................................ 11 Revision Tests ...................................................................................................................... 12 Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching ................................................................... 12 Other Information ..................................................................................................................... 13 How to succeed in QMB ...................................................................................................... 13

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Subject Outline
Introduction
Welcome to Quantitative Methods for Business. This subject will introduce you to the principles and practices of collecting, presenting and analysing data. It illustrates the application of quantitative methods to the choices, decisions and problems faced by business managers, analysts and policy-makers. It introduces students to software used to analyse data, and provides an overview of the basic principles of statistics and the use of those principles in the context of business and policy analysis.

Subject Aims
The overall aim of this subject is to provide an overview of the basic principles for applying statistics to decision-making, insights into some important theoretical and practical issues concerning business statistics, and to demonstrate the value of business statistics in decision-making. While undertaking this subject, students will develop: the capacity to interpret and analyse both primary and secondary sources of data, the ability to make rational decisions based on the weight of statistical evidence, an understanding of the role statistical analysis plays in individual business decisions, and a familiarity with the role statistical analysis plays in determining the wider economic and policy framework within which businesses operate.

Prescribed References
The required textbook for this subject is: Business Statistics: Australia New Zealand by Eliyathamby A. Selvanathan, Saroja Selvanathan, and Gerald Keller 5th edition (2011). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning. We will be using this text throughout the subject, and will refer to it as SSK, after its three authors. All students are encouraged to purchase a copy of this text, which is available for purchase at the University Co-op Bookstore. Copies are also available ON RESERVE at the Baillieu Library.

Learning Outcomes
Subject Objectives
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to: Explain how statistical theory applies to decision-making. Explain how data are sampled and presented, the issues associated with survey design, 3

and the importance of random sampling. Work with the normal distribution. Generate and interpret summary measures of location, variation and association. Analyse uncertainty, risk and random variation in the context of probability. Explain the importance of the Central Limit Theorem in statistical analysis and sampling. Construct and interpret a range of single-sample, two-sample and categorical hypothesis tests for multiple parameters, and select the appropriate test based on the characteristics of the data. Estimate, interpret and evaluate univariate and multivariate regression . Smooth time series data and construct estimates of trend, cyclical, seasonal or irregular variation.

Generic Skills
In this subject you will have the opportunity to develop important generic skills: Critical thinking and statistical reasoning. Accessing data and other information from a range of sources. Synthesis, interpretation, analysis and evaluation of data and other information. Application of computer software to statistical analysis. Application of theory to economic policy and business decision making. Written and oral communication. Collaborative learning and problem solving. Problem solving.

Awareness Issues
At a broader level, studying this subject will increase your awareness of: The use and misuse of statistics in business, politics and the media. The importance of encouraging rational, evidence-based decision making in business and politics, and the vital role statistics plays in that process. The value of empirical research as a complement to theoretical analysis in both academia and the business world.

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Prerequisites
Entry into the Master of Management is the only prerequisite for this subject.

Contact Details
Academic Staff Contact Details
Your co-ordinator for Quantitative Methods for Business is Dr Michael Coelli. Email: Room: Phone: mcoelli@unimelb.edu.au 609, 6th floor, Arts West Building (03) 8344 8586 2:00 to 3:00 pm on Wednesdays during semester

Consultation Hours:

http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/who/profile.cfm?sid=57

Email Protocol
While academic staff endeavor to address queries received via email, it is more appropriate to resolve substantive questions face-to-face during normal consultation hours. Emails are not appropriate for asking staff to explain subject content. With this in mind, all students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the consultation hours offered by the subject coordinator (above). They also have the opportunity to ask questions of their tutors during workshops. Students must ensure prior to sending emails to academic staff that the answer to their question is not easily available on the subject’s Learning Management System (LMS) page or another university webpage. Students should check the LMS regularly for information regarding the subject. Please note that staff members are only able to respond to student emails coming from a University email address. Please do not use personal email addresses such as Yahoo, Hotmail, Googlemail or even business email addresses. Emails from non-University email addresses may be filtered by the University’s spam filter, which means that staff may not receive your email. All correspondence relating to this subject will only be sent to your University email address. Note that you must first activate your University email address before you can send or receive emails at that address. You can activate your email account at this link: http://accounts.unimelb.edu.au/

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Seminars
Seminar Times
Tuesdays 6:15 pm - 8:15 pm Wednesdays 10:00 am - 12:00 noon Chisholm Theatre, Babel Building (305) Old Arts Theatre C

Seminar Participation Requirements
Students are expected to attend all seminars in their allocated stream (either Tuesday evenings or Wednesday mornings) throughout the semester. Participation in discussion and analysis of examples and case studies is expected during these seminars. The main slides covered during each seminar will be available for download from the subject’s LMS page prior to each seminar. Students should bring along a copy of these slides to the seminar, but are also expected to take notes during the seminars. Some important explanations of the material are not provided on the slides.

Seminar Schedule
Week Date 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 24-25 July 31 July – 1 August 7-8 Aug. 14-15 Aug. 21-22 Aug. 28-29 Aug. 4-5 Sept. 11-12 Sept. Topic Fundamentals of Statistics: data, sampling and (some) descriptive statistics More on Descriptive Statistics: association, presentation and Excel Probability and Discrete Distributions Continuous Probability Distributions and Sampling Distributions Estimation Hypothesis Testing Two Sample Estimation Two Sample and Categorical Tests MID-SEMESTER BREAK – 2 WEEKS 9 10 11 12 2-3 Oct. 9-10 Oct. 16-17 Oct. 23-24 Oct. Correlation and Regression Analysis Multivariate Regression Analysis Time Series Analysis Review 6 Ch. 21 Ch. 22, 23 Ch. 25 Required Reading Ch. 1, 2, 4, 6 Ch. 2, 3, 4 Ch. 5, 7 Ch. 8, 10 Ch. 11, 15.1 Ch. 13 Ch. 12 Ch. 14, 20

The required readings are taken from the prescribed textbook, SSK, described above. Students are encouraged to read the relevant chapters prior to the seminar each week, particularly if they have a very limited background in quantitative techniques.

Using Lecture Capture
An audio recording of the Wednesday morning stream of seminars delivered in this subject will be made available to students following each Wednesday seminar. Audio recordings of seminars allow you to review seminars during the semester, or to revise in preparation for the end of semester exam. You can access recorded seminars by clicking on the “Lecture Capture” menu item in the LMS section for this subject. To listen to Lecture Capture recordings, you must install QuickTime 7 (or a later version) on your computer. Many students who use the seminar recordings find it helpful to be looking at the slides as they listen. Please note that Lecture Capture recordings are not a substitute for seminar attendance; rather they are designed for revision. On occasion a Lecture Capture recording can fail, usually due to technical reasons. In such cases, the recording will not be made available.

Workshops
Workshop Schedule
Students are all expected to attend a one hour workshop each week. These workshops will commence in the second week of semester (week beginning Monday 30 July). The workshops are a fundamental component of the subject, and will give students the opportunity to practice the skills covered during seminars in the previous week. Students should check the Student Portal to find out the particular workshop stream that they are allocated to, and should attend their allocated workshop only. http://portal.unimelb.edu.au Students are able to change their workshop allocation via the Student Portal up to the end of the second week of semester (by Friday 3 August). Note that you can only change into a particular workshop if there is available space. For assistance with your enrolment, feel free to contact the Graduate School of Business and Economics. http://www.gsbe.unimelb.edu.au/current/manage/administration.html

Workshop Participation Requirements
A set of Preparation Questions are to be answered by students prior to the workshop each week. Students are to download these Preparation Questions from the subject’s LMS page. These Preparation Questions will be available on the LMS by the Thursday of the week prior to each relevant workshop. The Preparation Questions include both theoretical and applied questions relating to the topic covered in the seminar in the previous week, and require students to discuss the data and the methods they are using to analyse data. Students are to bring their answers to the Preparation Questions to the workshop each week. 7

In the workshops, students will work in groups to answer a set of Workshop Questions provided by the tutor. These Workshop Questions often require students to discuss and compare their different findings for the Preparation Questions, as well as attempting new questions in their groups. Solutions to the workshop questions will be posted on the LMS after the end of each week, i.e. after all workshops that week have been completed.

Assessment
Assessment Overview
Your assessment for this subject comprises the following: Assessment Task First Assignment Mid-Semester Exam Second Assignment Third Assignment Final Exam Hard Copy or Electronic Electronic Hard Copy Electronic Electronic Hard Copy Due Date Friday 17 August (week 4)
Tuesday 4 September (week 7)

Weight 10% 10% 10% 10% 60%

Friday 5 October (week 9) Friday 26 October (week 12) Final examination period

Assignments
Detailed information on the contents of the three assignments will be provided during the semester via the LMS. Students will have one to two weeks to complete assignments, so it is important that you are well organized. The assignments may include written answer questions requiring both calculation and discussion, as well as questions requiring the use of software (Excel). The due dates for the three assignments are provided in the table above. Assignments not submitted by the due date and time (4 pm) will count as zero for assessment purposes, unless an extension has been granted by the Graduate School of Business and Economics prior to the due date. Assignment answers can be submitted by a group of up to a maximum of four students, BUT all group members must be enrolled in the same workshop. Students will choose and form their own groups. For assignments submitted as a group, all students in the group, as long as they are all enrolled in the same workshop, will receive the same mark for the assignment. Students submitting an assignment with a group that is not in their own workshop, or in a group with more than four members, will not receive any credit for that assignment. Students may choose to work and hand in their assignments on their own, but I advise against it. Students will submit assignments electronically via the Assignment Tool. See below for details of how to submit assignments using this Tool. Each group will choose one group member to submit the assignment answers on behalf of the group. Assignments may 8

involve undertaking quantitative analyses of real-world data using a spreadsheet package such as Excel. When including graphs or charts in assignments, students should use patterns rather than colours to distinguish each data series in the graph or chart, as assignments will be printed in black and white for marking by tutors. In the work for this subject, students are expected to not only obtain correct numerical results, but also to be able to explain clearly in words how those results were arrived at, what confidence we can have in them and what the results imply for management action or for policy. Assignment answers should be well written. It is also important that students do not report calculations, estimates or statistical tests that are unnecessary or inappropriate.

Mid-semester exam
The mid-semester exam contains only written answer questions requiring both calculation and discussion. The exam duration is 1 hour, including reading time, and is a closed book exam. Critical value tables for each distribution required to complete the exam will be provided to students in the exam package, as will a formula sheet. The exam will cover all material presented in seminars 1 to 5 inclusive. This exam will take place on Tuesday 4 September at 12.15pm in 123 Bouverie Street. Students should bring a standard scientific calculator with them to this exam, i.e. a calculator with the ability to take square roots and work with logarithms. Graphical and programmable calculators are not permitted.

End-of-semester exam
The end of semester final exam for this subject will cover all the material covered during seminars and workshops throughout the semester. This exam will occur during the University's normal end of semester assessment period, with the time, date and location provided by the University's administration later in the semester. The exam will be 2 hours in duration, and will have written answer questions requiring both calculation and discussion. Critical value tables for each distribution required to complete the exam will be provided to students in the exam package, as will a formula sheet. Students should also bring a standard scientific calculator with them to this final exam. Graphical and programmable calculators are not permitted.

Exam Policy
The final examination period for this semester is from Monday 5 November until Friday 23 November, 2012. The Faculty requires that students are available for the entire examination period. Supplementary exams will not be provided in cases of absence during the examination period, unless the absence is due to serious illness or other serious circumstances. See the Special Consideration web site for more information: http://www.gsbe.unimelb.edu.au/current/manage/special-consideration.html

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Using the Assignment Tool
The Assignment Tool allows students to submit assignments online from home or from any of the student computer laboratories on campus. During the course of the semester, students will be asked to submit assignments in electronic format into the Assignment Tool. The Assignment Tool can be accessed by clicking on the Assignment Tool menu item from the LMS page for this subject. A student guide has been prepared on the use of the Assignment Tool. The guide provides instructions on how to submit individual assignments, how to form groups and how to submit group assignments. The guide can be downloaded here: http://www.tlu.fbe.unimelb.edu.au/pdfs/StudentsGuideAssignmentTool.pdf Please note that students are required to keep a copy of their assignment after it has been submitted, as students must be able to produce a copy of their assignment at the request of their tutor or subject coordinator at any time after the submission due date.

Plagiarism and Collusion
Presenting material from other sources without full acknowledgement (referred to as plagiarism) is heavily penalised. Penalties for plagiarism can include a mark of zero for the piece of assessment or a fail grade for the subject. Plagiarism is the presentation by a student of an assignment identified as his or her own work even though it has been copied in whole or in part from another student’s work, or from any other source (e.g. published books, web-based materials or periodicals), without due acknowledgement in the text. Collusion is the presentation by a student of an assignment as his or her own work when it is, in fact, the result (in whole or in part) of unauthorised collaboration with another person or persons. Both the student presenting the assignment and the student(s) willingly supplying unauthorised material are considered participants in the act of academic misconduct. See the following website for more information. http://academichonesty.unimelb.edu.au/advice.html The Teaching and Learning Unit has developed a web-based ‘Academic Honesty Module’ that allows you to learn more about and test your knowledge of plagiarism and collusion. You are strongly encouraged to complete this module, which can be accessed at: http://tlu.ecom.unimelb.edu.au/AcademicHonestyTest/index.cfm

Late Submission
Where a student's capacity to prepare a piece of assessment has been affected by factors beyond their control, such as illness or some other unexpected occurrence, students may apply for an extension. To apply for an extension, students should contact the Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE). Students should make such applications well before the assignment is due.

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Note that if an assignment in this subject is submitted after the due date and time without the student being granted an extension by the GSBE, the assessment will count as zero for assessment purposes.

Special Consideration
Students who have been significantly affected by illness or other serious circumstances during the semester may be eligible to apply for Special Consideration. The following website contains detailed information relating to who can apply for Special Consideration and the process for making an application: http://www.gsbe.unimelb.edu.au/current/manage/special-consideration.html Note that applications for special consideration must generally be made with 3 working days of the assessment for which special consideration is being requested.

Group Work
Working in groups can sometimes be more difficult than working individually. However, team-work and organisational skills associated with group work are highly valued by employers. With careful management and ongoing communication, you can have a successful and rewarding experience working in a team. You should exchange names, phone numbers, and email addresses with your group members straight away. If you have difficulty with a member of your group, you should contact your tutor as soon as possible. Do not leave issues unresolved until just before or after your group assignment is due. All students within your group will be given the same mark for an assignment submitted as a group, so choose your group members wisely. Remember, all group members must be enrolled in the same workshop. Students who attempt to submit an assignment with a group that is not in their own workshop will not receive any credit for that assignment.

Further Assistance
If you need assistance during the semester, you have several options:

Subject Coordinator Consultations
Dr Michael Coelli is available for consultations on Wednesdays from 2:00 to 3:00 pm during semester. There is no need to contact the coordinator to book a time if you wish to consult with him during these hours. Just drop by his office: room 609 on the 6th floor of the Arts West Building, main campus.

Workshops
Workshops provide an opportunity for you to ask questions of your tutor. If there is not enough time during workshops for you to have all your questions answered, ask your tutor to meet with you at a mutually convenient time for a further consultation. 11

Revision Tests
A copy of a prior year mid-term exam will be made available to students via the LMS in the week or so prior to the mid-semester exam. Brief solutions to this exam will also be provided, prior to the mid-semester exam occurring. Copies of a few end-of-semester exams from previous years will be made available to students via the LMS towards the end of semester. Brief solutions for these past exams will also be provided.

Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching
The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT, formerly the TLU) offers a wide range of support services to students. If you are having any difficulty in studying for this subject, you can arrange an individual consultation with one of the Centre’s learning skills specialists. A learning skills specialist can review your current approaches to study and offer advice on how to adjust to the demands of Masters level study in management and business. If you are a student from a non-English speaking background, there is a specialist in English as a Second Language who is available to help with your written work. A mathematics and statistics specialist is also available to assist with reviewing the mathematics and statistics requirements for this subject. The Peer Assisted Study and Skills Integration (PASSI) program is a structured peer learning program designed to provide support to students with what may seem a difficult subject. The program provides a series of scheduled, weekly collaborative study sessions that are available to students who are enrolled in QMB. The sessions are facilitated by a trained Peer Leader. PASSI Leaders are current students: they are not tutors thus they do not act as “experts” who answer your questions. The program begins in week 2 of semester, and runs to week 12. Attendance is purely voluntary. More details about the program can be found on the LMS. You can register towards the end of week one of semester at the following link: http://tlu.fbe.unimelb.edu.au/students/graduate/PASSI.html Please visit the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching web page for information about the specialist services offered by the CELT, including how to book a consultation. http://www.tlu.fbe.unimelb.edu.au/ This web page also contains a wide variety of study skills topics and information sheets for students, and a timetable of up-coming events, including focussed workshops, designed to support Business and Economics students in their study. The Centre is located on Level 5 of the “Spot” Business and Economics Building, 198 Berkeley Street. Make use of the Centre. It is there to help.

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Other Information
How to succeed in QMB
In order to succeed in Quantitative Methods for Business, the following are recommended: Keep up with the work from week to week, including reading the relevant textbook chapters and attending seminars. Work through workshop problems before and after each workshop. Make sure that you have no unanswered questions. Do a number of textbook exercises. This will vary from student to student. If you are confident in your mastery of techniques, concentrate on the Applying the techniques and Supplementary questions. Rely on yourself. Your tutors and the subject co-ordinator are here to facilitate your learning, but we cannot do the work for you. This subject is one-quarter of a standard load. That means you should be putting the equivalent of one quarter of a week's work into this subject.

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