Basic Math

Combinations and Permutations How many different poker hands are there? How many different pizza orders can be made? How many different ways can this work schedule be filled out? How many different ways are there to arrange your books in a bookshelf? These are all examples of combinations and permutations. And knowing how to calculate them is a helpful tool for decision making.  The basic equations are: .

Analysis of Variance (most commonly referred to as ANOVA) is a common statistical test that compares the averages of several sets of data. It is unlikely for datasets to have the same average, and an ANOVA test quantifies how likely those observed differences in occurred by chance. It is a really useful test because we frequently find ourselves comparing averages of different datasets.

Maybe you have a day by hour chart, or sales plan vs. actual sales data and you want an easy way to decide when to take action - consider the simple Cumulative Deviation. First you need some data, two variables that you want to compare.  Here in this spreadsheet example we have Plan and Actual for eight time periods.

Let’s suppose there are three BIG potential orders in your sales pipeline. What are your chances that you are going to win an order? This is a question that faces manufacturing and service industries all the time. If they chase too much business, they run the risk of winning the business and not being able to fulfill the request but if they don’t chase any business, they run the risk of being idle.

Accurately determining the appropriate stocking levels of perishable items is very important. Stock too few items and you will have disappointed customers. Stock too many and you’ll have unsold product - which has a high probability of turning into a loss.     

A number of industries face this dilemma each and every day.


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