Book Reviews

Book by Dan Remenyi, George Onofrei, and Joseph English
Review by Melody Carroll
Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering
Iowa State University

Advisors who want to use data to make changes in their work setting or for academic research will want to check out An Introduction to statistics using Microsoft Excel.  This book is packed full of simple to complex statistical terminology and examples of how to use a variety of data analysis techniques in Microsoft Excel. Novice and intermediate users of statistics will find this book interesting and helpful for using data in an array of educational situations.

There are four main sections in this book. In the first few pages readers quickly learn how to get started in different areas depending upon their background and comfort level with statistics. This book can serve as an excellent reference tool for graduate students or a ‘how to guide’ for an advisor who wants to use data to highlight findings in a department, college or institution. The table of contents helps readers find information and instructions on the various techniques. I found that Part Four was a great place to begin reading; it was refreshing and interesting because it provided a light and appealing overview of research and the use of statistics for answering research questions.

Academic advisors who desire to complete quantitative research to better understand student development and college experiences will find this book very helpful. Researchers at all levels will find a wide array of techniques for looking at numbers in different ways that will help them understand their data.  Parts 1-3 take the reader right into the nitty-gritty of using Excel and provide great examples of how to utilize a variety of analysis techniques from simple to complex.

The best features of this book are the quick terminology references, these will be helpful to anyone who lacks a background in statistics, and the wide variety of techniques. One major weakness of this book is that while there are great assignments and self-tests available at the end of the first three parts of the book, readers must request the solutions/answers. The information to make requests is not available in an obvious place which is frustrating; it would make more sense to make correct answers readily available for reference or clarification. 
I recommend this book not only to all advisors who wish to utilize data in their jobs, but to beginner and intermediate researchers.  Although this book is not in my top ten I believe it can serve as a valuable resource.

An Introduction to statistics using Microsoft Excel (2010). Book by Dan Remenyi, George Onofrei, and Joseph English. Review by Melody Carroll. Reading, United Kingdom: Academic Publishing International. $19.00 pp. 212. ISBN # 978-1-906638-55-9

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