Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS204: Business Statistics

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Student Handbook.

Course Description

Learn how to apply statistical information and quantitative methods to the workplace. Examine techniques for gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data applicable to many fields, from anthropology to hedge fund management.

Course Introduction

This course will introduce you to business statistics, or the application of statistics in the workplace. Statistics is how we gather, analyze, and interpret data. If you have taken a statistics course in the past, you may find some of the topics in this course familiar. You can apply statistics to any number of fields, from anthropology to hedge fund management, because many of us interpret data best when it is presented in an organized fashion.

Here, we will look at summary statistics, which give an overview of a data set, such as the average score on an exam. However, the average does not always tell the entire story; since half of the students could have gotten 100 on the exam, and the other half gotten 60. Using statistics, we can learn a lot more about how data is organized. To do that, we will use statistical tools to analyze data, draw conclusions, and make predictions about the future. The course will begin with data distributions, followed by probability analysis, sampling, hypothesis testing, inferential statistics, and regression.

This course includes the following units:

  • Unit 1: Introduction to Statistical Analysis
  • Unit 2: Counting, Probability, and Probability Distributions
  • Unit 3: The Normal Distribution
  • Unit 4: Sampling and Sampling Distributions
  • Unit 5: Estimation and Hypothesis Testing
  • Unit 6: Correlation and Regression

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • explain the importance of statistics and statistical analysis for applicability to business scenarios;
  • explain the differences between data types (quantitative and qualitative data) and their application to real-world situations;
  • apply the elements of descriptive statistics to solve problems and understand datasets;
  • create graphs and visual representations of data, and interpret information presented in graphs;
  • describe the properties of various data distributions, and calculate the metrics from those distributions;
  • apply the concept of a random variable, including differentiating the population from a sample;
  • relate the central limit theorem to sample size and normal distribution;
  • describe different sampling methods, including systematic, stratified random, cluster, convenience, panel, and quota sampling, and identify examples of each;
  • use a point estimator from a sample to estimate the entire population;
  • estimate intervals over which the population parameter could exist using sample data;
  • apply hypothesis testing for testing population parameters using one or two samples;
  • explain the components of the linear regression model and interpret the values of those components; and
  • plot a regression line, and explain how the regression coefficient shapes that line.

Throughout this course, you will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.

Course Materials

This course's primary learning materials are articles, lectures, and videos.

All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. To pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.

There are also end-of-unit assessments in this course. These are designed to help you study and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.

Earning College Credit

This course is eligible for college credit via Saylor Academy's Direct Credit Program. If you want to earn college credit, you must take and pass the Direct Credit final exam. That exam will be password protected and requires a proctor. If you pass the Direct Credit exam, you will receive a Proctor Verified Course Certificate and be eligible to earn an official transcript. For more information about applying for college credit, review the guide to college credit opportunities. Be sure to check the section on proctoring for details like fees and technical requirements.

There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no waiting period between attempts for the not-for-credit exam and the Direct Credit exam. You may only attempt each Direct Credit final exam a maximum of 3 times. Be sure to study in between each attempt!

Tips for Success

BUS204: Business Statistics is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. We estimate that the "average" student will take 53 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a comfortable pace that allows you to make regular progress. It's also a good idea to schedule your study time in advance and try to stick to that schedule as best as you can.

Learning new material can be challenging, so we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
  • As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory and will make you more likely to retain information over time. 

Suggested Prerequisites

To take this course, you should:

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered entirely online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course, including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional Direct Credit final exam, then you will also need access to a webcam. This lets our remote proctoring service verify your identity, which is required to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.


This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course also has an optional final exam that can give you an opportunity to earn college credit. This exam requires the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring for this optional exam is $5 per session.

Last modified: Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 2:41 PM