Insegnamento a.a. 2019-2020


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 15 - 16 - 17 - 18
BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  4 credits SECS-P/06  |  2 credits SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 15 (I sem.) - 16 (I sem.) - 17 (I sem.) - 18 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

The exam code 30001 Statistics is a prerequisite of the exam code 30280 APPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT.


The exam code 30001 Statistics is a prerequisite of the exam code 30280 APPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT.

Mission & Content Summary


The purpose of the course is to enable students to structure and conduct autonomously a research project based on the analysis of data sets concerning business, economics and in general the social sciences. The course presents a set of tools with an applied perspective, providing the methodological knowledge that is necessary to conduct such projects with competence and with the ability to choose appropriate statistical methods for various applied research problems.


  • Introduction to applied research, research design, formulation of research questions and hypothesis, associations and causality.
  • Sampling and data sources, sample selection, finding data for research projects.
  • Regression analysis: the simple one regressor case, multivariate regression, assumptions and properties, violation of assumptions and remedies.
  • Factor analysis: model, extraction, rotation, interpretation.
  • Scale construction and evaluation: reliability analysis and composite scores.
  • Cluster Analysis.
  • Regression analysis revisited: regression analysis in combination with factor analysis and cluster analysis, binary response models.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Select, clean and manage large and complex data sets to be used for applied research.
  • Distinguish between different kinds of variables.
  • Explain how variables can be used in standard statistical techniques.
  • Explain linear regression, test for its underlying assumptions and make relevant interpretations.
  • Explain the methods of cluster analysis and factor analysis.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Distinguish between associations and causal effects in statistical analysis and assess their implications for policy.
  • Apply statistical software to analyse and answer defined research questions and hypotheses.
  • Formulate, analyse data, and write a structured applied research project.
  • Confidently apply the methods of linear regression, cluster analysis and factor analysis.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Group assignments


Online Lectures:

  • One online lecture to outline and explain the process of implementing the research project assignment.
  • One webinar to both explain and answer questions concerning the research project/assignment.


  • There are a set of meetings in the computer rooms, where we demonstrate and explain how to use the statistical software SPSS, and where students are given tasks of answering and solving tasks related to the SPSS and the use of large and complex data sets.
  • Standard exercises concerning applied statistical calculations.

Group assignments:

  • The project/assignment is an applied research project which may be conducted by students working alone or in groups of up to 4. You have to choose your group - it is not assigned by the professors. 
  • In terms of content, students are required to design an applied research project that can be completed using secondary data. To perform data analysis, students are expected to use one or more of the techniques introduced in this course, interpret the results and draw conclusions. For the project you have to use a data source provided by the professors. The maximum length of the project is 10 pages.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x x
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  x x


Assessment is based on:

A project (30%):

  • The project can be submitted once only. The maximum grade available to students who do not submit a project is 21/30. The partial  exam (i.e. 1st partial exam) is available for third year BIEM students in the first semester. Provided you pass this exam, you can take the second partial exam in December. If you fail the partial exam or you are unable to attend (e.g. being away on exchange) – you need to take the general exam (which covers all material) being held in December and February or to be arranged on later dates (exact dates to be confirmed).

A written exam (70%):

  • The written exam (i.e. 70%) consists of short questions. The questions cover theory, methods and interpretation of the results of applied research. The exam covers material covered in the lectures, in the text book and other set of readings, such as the lecture notes may be included in the exam. 


Students may take 30280 Applications for Management and 30001 Statistics exams in the same session. However, in order to retain the grade in 30280 Applications for Management, they do need to also pass the the 30001 Statistics exam. In case students fail the 30001 Statistics exam, they do need to retake the 30280 Applications exam.

Teaching materials


  • Lecture notes online on the Bboard platform.
  • P. NEWBOLD, W.L. CARLSON, B. THORNE, Statistics for Business and Economics and Student CD, Prentice Hall (International Edition), 2012, 8th edition (Note that this book is the one you have used for your previous Statistics course. The book is used in the lectures on Linear Regression and ANOVA).
  • R. WARNER,  Applied Statistics: From Bivariate through Multivariate Techniques, Los Angeles: Sage, 2008 (We only use chapter 4 from this book, which is made available online from the library).
  • J.F. HAIR, R.L. TATHAM, R.E. ANDERSON, et al., Multivariate Data Analysis International Edition (Paperback), Pearson Education, International Edition, 5th or 6th edition,(ISBN-10: 0139305874) (note that this book is used for Factor Analysis and Cluster Analysis (lectures from end of October onwards) – whereby chapter 3 (FA) and chapter 8 (CA) are made available online from the library). 
  • M.J. NORUSIS, IBM SPSS Statistics, 19 Statistical Procedures Companion (or any more recent version), Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Prentice Hall (optional).
  • In this course we are using the software SPSS. It is more advanced than Excel but also more user-friendly given the tasks we are dealing with. We introduce SPSS through the lectures and tutorial office hours, but bear in mind that SPSS is highly user-friendly and we expect you to learn SPSS through “learning-by-doing”. There are several books available for doing statistics with SPSS (most of them available on Amazon). There is also a lot of online material on SPSS. The "Norusis" book tells you how to perform linear regression, FA and CA, scale construction, descriptive statistics, and general data analysis. Although we have not classified this book as “required” it can be a useful companion when doing your project (see below).
Last change 02/07/2019 10:27