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School of Business

Cougar Business Resource Center

School of Business

Quantitative Literacy Support Center


"Business, to be successful, must be based on science, for demand and supply are matters of mathematics, not guesswork."

― Elbert (Green) Hubbard

Why is quantitative literacy important to you?

Upon completion of the undergraduate Business degree, students learn key "soft" skills outside of their specific major. These skills include written and oral communication skills, written and oral presentation skills, project management skills, and quantitative literacy skills. These soft skills can position SIUe students above the rest as they begin their career paths.

The School of Business places quantitative literacy skills into four groups: Math & Statistics, Excel, Data Analysis & Modeling, and Business Calculations & Models. A table presenting a list of these skills in each group is presented below.

Groups and Skills

  Math & Statistics Excel Data Analysis & Modeling Business Calculations & Models
Basic Skills average/mean absolute/relative/mixed referencing number sense (not necessarily basic or advanced)
standard deviation cell formatting basic analysis growth rates / margins
discrete/random column/row sorting basic presentation of results net present value (NPV) / internal rate of return (IRR)
normal distribution formulas and functions inputs and assumptions financial ratios / profitability
percentages charts and graphs sensitivity analysis feasibility / cost-benefit / break-even
ratios understanding chart types financial statement / pro-forma
z-test named cells or ranges market share / investment analysis
solving for missing variables capital budgeting
rounding errors / significant digits SWOT
Advanced Skills correlation conditional formatting unstructured problem w/data
regression complex functions, nested functions data presentation
anova import various file formats written interpretation
v/h lookup oral presentation
filters identify/diagnose a problem
pivot tables propose a solution
goal seek decision making
what if analysis forecasting
scenario manager
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