Now you can access 12 of her business case studies. Professor Smith includes a description of each business problem, a complete illustration of how to use JMP to analyze the problem, a summary of statistical insights gained through analysis, possible managerial implications and the JMP data tables.
The cases provide tools for analyzing and understanding:
Medical malpractice claim costs
Airline baggage complaints
Impact of sampling plans on incidence of manufacturing defects
Survey data about a summer film series
Price quote consistency
Impact of changes in treatment facility on patient and employee behavior
Impact of task prioritization on product delivery
Annual fund-raising contributions
Impact of direct mail campaigns
Forecasting market share
Factors impacting cell phone service performance
Conditions contributing to lost sales
I spoke with Professor Smith about her passion for using business case studies.
Q: What are case studies?
A: Case studies start with questions or problems that business decision-makers working in the business world – the world our students are entering – will have to solve. Cases include sample data that students can use to try to solve the problem. Notice I use plurals for the people doing the work – decision-makers, students. Case studies are often used by teams so that the students can bring their different skill sets to the table, share the work and be able to defend their results to the variety of people involved in work decisions.
Q: Why use the case study approach?
A: Statistics are very important for business, but let’s face it, stats can be dry and appear irrelevant to students wanting to make their mark in the business world. Case studies offer a two-pronged approach that helps students learn and appreciate statistics. First, I start with business problems that students will likely find in the workplace – problems that interest them and will require statistical analysis. Second, I give them the real data and tools to let them dive into hands-on analysis. The inquiry into statistics will follow – sort of "if you build it, they will come."
Q: Do you use case studies in all your courses?
A: I use them where appropriate to the course goals. They are particularly effective in my Introduction to Statistics course for MBAs. That course is offered on campus and online. The students can schedule face-to-face or online group time to collaborate.
Q: Do you plan more case studies using JMP?
A: I'm working with Mia Stephens, from the JMP team at SAS, to develop a few more on multiple regression and data mining.