Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Business: An interview with co-author Bharat Kolluri

Last month, Wiley was proud to publish Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Business: With Applications Using Microsoft Office Excel, a well-balanced and accessible introduction to the elementary quantitative methods and Microsoft® Office Excel® applications used to guide business decision making.

Featuring quantitative techniques essential for modeling modern business situations, the book provides guidance to assessing real-world data sets using Excel. The book presents a balanced approach to the mathematical tools and techniques with applications used in the areas of business, finance, economics, marketing, and operations.

Extensively classroom-tested, Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Business: With Applications Using Microsoft® Office Excel® also includes:

  • Numerous examples and practice problems that emphasize real-world business quantitative techniques and applications
  • Excel-based computer software routines that explore calculations for an assortment of tasks, including graphing, formula usage, solving equations, and data analysis
  • End-of-chapter sections detailing the Excel applications and techniques used to address data and solutions using large data sets
  • A companion website that includes chapter summaries, Excel data sets, sample exams and quizzes, lecture slides, and an Instructors’ Solutions Manual

Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Business: With Applications Using Microsoft® Office Excel® is an excellent textbook for undergraduate-level courses on quantitative methods in business, economics, finance, marketing, operations, and statistics. The book is also an ideal reference for readers with little or no quantitative background who require a better understanding of basic mathematical and statistical concepts used in economics and business.


1. Congratulations on the publication of Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Business: With Applications using Microsoft Office Excel. How did the writing process begin?

We have been teaching a required core course entitled QNT 130: Quantitative Methods in our undergraduate business program during the last decade and finally decided to organize the teaching material into six separate chapters.

2. What were the primary objectives you had in mind during the writing process?

Upon completion of the course students will be able to
• Understand applications of linear and non-linear models in business.
• Understand business applications of marginal analysis techniques.
• Organize data and describe it by means of graphical and numerical methods.
• Understand the concepts of uncertainty, probability, laws of probability and probability distributions, including their application in business.
• Use computer software technology to present, analyze and solve problems.

3. You begin the book by establishing a solid foundation of basic mathematics and statistics before moving on to more advanced concepts. The first part of the book starts by developing basic quantitative techniques such as arithmetic operations, functions and graphs, and elementary differentiations (rates of change), and integration. After a review of these techniques, the second part details both linear and nonlinear models of business activity. Was this always the structure you had in mind for the book?

Yes. We thought that it is extremely important to provide some basic review of relevant mathematical skills and tools that students need as a foundation, especially when students from different backgrounds and mathematical skills start the program.

4. If there is one piece of information or advice that you would want your reader to take away and remember after reading your book, what would that be?

How the quantitative techniques in combination with real data and Excel and other software can be utilized to provide concrete solutions to business problems.

5. The book is also accompanied by a solutions manual. Please could you tell us more about what the reader can expect from this?

The Student Solutions Manual is designed to provide the student with detailed solutions to facilitate more understanding of the subject matter and practice problems.

6. Who should read the book and why?

Those that have interest and desire to develop analytical skills and knowledge, and ultimately utilize them to find factual solutions based on real data

7. Why is this book of particular interest now?

Many reasons:

• To fulfil the mathematical skill deficiency among some students, and to prepare all the students for upper level courses.
• Limit the theory only to the point necessary, and to replace the irrelevant algebraic derivations and computations by appropriate software applications.
• Finally to demonstrate the utility of quantitative techniques with applications and stimulate student interest.

8. Were there areas of the book that you found more challenging to write, and if so, why?

Yes. There are always some. For example, developing business related examples that can use rules of integration and related theory, developing linear programming models in business and solutions, applications of nonlinear functions, measures of location or averages, and the concept of a random variable, discrete and continuous, among others.

9. What is it about the area of quantitative methods that fascinates you?

A major revolution took place during the last century in the Economics and Business world when statisticians, econometricians and other scientists started developing econometric models to quantify various relationships and were able to present policy prescriptions.

10. What will be your next book-length undertaking?

Most probably to work on the second edition on this book.

11. Please could you tell us about your educational background and what inspired you to pursue your career in your respective discipline?

I have two masters in pure mathematics and statistics and a Ph. D. in Econometrics similar to two of my co-authors. My interests are in the applied areas of economics and business, similar to that of my co-authors.