This practical text provides students with the statistical tools needed to analyze data, and shows how statistics can be used as a tool in making informed, intelligent policy decisions. The authors' approach helps students learn what statistical measures mean and focus on interpreting results, as opposed to memorizing and applying dozens of statistical formulae. The book includes more than 500 end-of-chapter problems, solvable with the easy-to-use Excel spreadsheet application developed by the authors. This template allows students to enter numbers into the appropriate sheet, sit back, and analyze the data. This comprehensive, hands-on textbook requires only a background in high school algebra and has been thoroughly classroom-tested in both undergraduate and graduate level courses. No prior expertise with Excel is required. A disk with the Excel template and the data sets is included with the book, and solutions to the end-of-chapter problems will be provided on the M.E. Sharpe website.