MBA Open Lecture with Peter Bolcha
On Wednesday, December 14th, at 18:00, our Chapman MBA lecturer on Statistics for Business Decisions and Economic Analysis for Business, Mr. Peter Bolcha, Ph.D., spoke on the following topic: “How Can Statistics Save Money, Energy and Even Lives?”
About the lecturer: Peter Bolcha earned both his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Economics, Prague. His research interests are connected with empirical economics and applied econometrics. Bolcha has published on topics related to investment incentives and methods and evaluations of government policies. Along with his academic activities that include past jobs at the University of Economics, Prague and Charles University, he has worked on projects with major institutions and companies such as Czech Railways, the Ministry of Trade, and major gas and airline companies. His project activity was recently extended to the post of Director of AAU’s Center for Applied Research (CAR), where he organizes and coordinates corporate projects in classes of the School of Business Administration.
During his lecture and ensuing discussion, Peter Bolcha explained what makes statistics important in decision making. We found out that statistics are valuable for revealing patterns important for business. Companies and individuals can evaluate effects and efficiency, make decisions more precisely, and, as a result, save money or even lives.
Mr. Bolcha elucidated how companies use statistical modelling. Using case studies of a Czech gas company, Sazka, Vodafone, and Manpower, he described why these companies use data and how they process them and how they interpret the results.
If statistics are so beneficial, what prevents companies from using more statistics? Firstly, the usage is subject to selection on a cost-benefit basis: the employment of statistics will occur only if the expected benefits from more precision (reached thanks to statistics) exceed the costs. This limits the field usually to larger companies. Secondly – at least on the Czech market – there is still a huge gap in the intuitive explanation of results and the potential benefits for decision makers.
Despite a smaller audience, the quality and professionalism of the questions during the following discussion proved that the participants were experts who have had a experience with statistics and its use in different business fields.