• Unit 4: Sampling and Sampling Distributions

    While you may not become a professional data gatherer, it is likely that you will need to compile data on a regular basis. When gathering data, you will not always have the luxury of collecting all available data. For example, economists cannot measure the entire unemployment of the population, so they must take a random sample instead. Likewise, in a manufacturing facility, quality control managers do not have the resources to test every product that comes off the line; it is simply not feasible. Instead, they take samples at various points during the production process to test the quality of the products the firm produces.

    There are a number of methods employed in sampling data. It is important that the sampling method fits the application. For example, marketing managers may wish to test a product on various groups of people. They may define these groups by age, race, geography, income, or any other factors. They then divide the population into these groups and take samples from each group in a process known as cluster sampling. If marketers do not properly divide the population, they may end up marketing to the wrong demographic and achieving poor sales.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 3 hours.