Conduct Quantitive Analysis: Management
Over this two-week period, you will use mathematical operations and data analysis to solve problems and inform decision making. Your final assignment will be the creation of a comprehensive Excel workbook with supporting charts and graphs and a short analysis of the data.
This project will enable you to refresh and refine your skills in math and statistics before you tackle a real-world data set using Excel to analyze and display the data.
Quantitative reasoning uses a process similar to qualitative research in that you will first identify an issue or problem and then use mathematical formulas or an analytic tool to derive a solution. You will construct graphs, charts, and tables to display data and inform analysis and interpretation. You will evaluate the results of the information, then analyze and validate them by applying them to the issue or problem.
This project will enable you to see the connection between data and how quantitative analysis of that data informs solutions to practical problems with potential impact on your organization or industry.
There are 10 steps that lead you through this project. Each step should take about two hours to complete. Begin by watching the video above, which introduces the fictional scenario that forms the framework for the project. Then continue to Step 1: Refresh Your Math, Statistics, and Excel Skills.
Step 1: Refresh Your Math, Statistics and Excel Skills
Everyone has a different background. As in previous projects, you will start by assessing your current baseline. First, think about what it means to engage in quantitative processes. Next, refresh your skills in math, statistics, and Excel. You will evaluate how much you already know and where you need to concentrate more attention.
If you need help outside the classroom, you can access tutoring by selecting Tutoring Assistance under Resources in your classroom. There are videos when you access tutoring help and other resources to help you complete this project successfully.
Once you have a good idea of your skill levels in these areas and you know where to go for help, move on to Step 2, where you will apply some of your stats knowledge. Remember to choose the instructions for the course in which you are currently enrolled.
Step 2: Set Up Your Spreadsheet
Now that you’ve assessed and refreshed yourself on important skills, youâ€™re ready to begin. First download the Excel template course file and use it to set up your spreadsheet. This step will help you set up your basic view to prepare for using several tools.
After you’ve formatted and set up your basic view and saved the spreadsheet with your name, you’re ready to move to the next step and add data.
Step 3: Add Data
With your spreadsheet set up and saved with your last name, you’re ready to add data. In Section 1 on the Data page, complete each column of the spreadsheet to arrive at the desired calculations.
When you’re ready, move on to the next step, in which you will use functions to summarize the data.
Here’s a tip: If you want the formula to repeat down the column, put $ around the column letters in the range so it will remain constant. In this case, the range will be expressed as starting and ending cell separated by a colon or $C$11:$C$1010. The value will be the cell location of the career. Give it a try in the tables in Section 2.
Step 4: Use Functions to Summarize the Data
With your data built, you are now ready to start using some tools to summarize the data, using Countif and the Sum function to do the math. In this step, you’ll begin to see patterns in the data and the story of the workforce.
Take a breather here if you need it. You should strive to work through the first four steps this week. Check in with your instructor.
With this step complete, you’re ready to begin your analysis.
Step 5: Analyze the Workforce
Youâ€™ve summarized the data. Next, you will employ descriptive or summary statistics to analyze the workforce. Your summary tables answer the question, “how many?” Now you will calculate mean, median, and mode for the categories of data, and derive the deviation, variance, and dispersion, and distribution. This is where it gets interesting!
You will be working in Section 3 of the Data tab in the spreadsheet to complete the descriptive statistics for the five categories (salary, hourly rate, years of service, education, and age). Using Excel formulas, complete the table.
After you have used Excel formulas to find this information, you will next use the Toolpak to find your summary statistics.
Step 6: Use the Analysis Toolpak
Your data set is now built. You will use the same functions to performdescriptive analysis using the Analysis Toolpak. This is a handy feature to know. Remember that there may be some minor differences in the answers depending on the version you use.
You should now have Tab 2: Excel Summary Stats complete. Next, you’ll create charts and a histogram for Tabs 3 and 4.
Step 7: Create Charts and a Histogram
Where would we be without the ability to view data in charts? It is sometimes easier to grasp the context of data if we can see it captured in an image. You will work with data to create charts, adding a tab for charts and another for a histogram.
In this step, you will build Tab 3: Graphsâ€”Charts and Tab 4: Histogram. After you complete these tabs, you’ll be ready to sort the data.
Step 8: Copy and Sort the Data
You’ve accomplished a lot with your data set, summary stats, charts, and histograms. Another skill you’ll need is sorting data in an Excel worksheet for reporting purposes. You’ll copy and sort the data. This is a useful skill that applies to any use of Excel.
In this step, you will create Tab 5: Sorted Data. When you’re finished, you’ll be ready to conduct your quantitative analysis.
Here is an example of a sorted spreadsheet:
Step 9: Conduct Quantitative Analysis
In this step, your hard work bears fruit. What does it all mean? Think back to your boss’s reasons for tasking you with this project. Use your powers of analysis to determine what the data may be telling you. Apply your quantitative reasoning skills by answering the questions provided in the resource and writing a short essay.
After you answer the questions, your short essay should include
- a one-paragraph narrative summary of your findings, describing patterns of interest;
- an explanation of the potential relevance of such patterns; and
- a description of how you would investigate further to determine if your results could be perceived as good or bad for the company.
You will prepare your responses in your workbook on the tab labeled QR/Questions and Answers. Type in your answers to the questions and your final essay in the textbox. Then move the QR/Questions and Answers tab to the first tab position (to the left of the Data tab) when you have finished.
Good luck! In the next step, you’ll submit your workbook and analysis.