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You are an analyst in a business. You may choose a real or fictional business of interest. Any business that has practical meaning for you is an appropriate choice for this assessment.

Locate any report or periodical article that contains at least two different graphical representations of data or use one of the supplied articles. Interpret the graphs and present your findings in a brief PowerPoint presentation (6 slides). You may choose to explain the points in your 5-8 minute presentation with a recorded voice-over or include detailed presenter’s notes in the PowerPoint slides.

Business administrators and managers are often called upon to interpret data that analysts have provided to them. This requires an understanding of the data sources (when, where, and how data is collected; formatted or stored; and used), as well as what that data looks like and how it can be summarized. In this first assessment, you are asked to locate any report or periodical article used in a business context of interest to you that contains at least two different graphical representations of data. You will interpret the graphical data representations and present your findings in a brief PowerPoint deck, as if you were presenting during a company meeting.

In this assessment you will learn about the collection, formatting, and use of raw data, as well as graphical and tabular methods for summarizing it. You will also get started with the technology that you will use in this course: Microsoft Excel (including the Data Analysis ToolPak add-in).

Scenario

You are an analyst in a business. You may choose a real or fictional business of interest. Any business that has practical meaning for you is an appropriate choice for this assessment.

You have been given you a report containing some graphs and charts and must interpret and explain two of them at a department meeting.

Your Role

You have been invited to be one of many presenters at a departmental meeting that employees of all levels will attend. You have been allotted 5–8 minutes, and the purpose of your speech is to explain the two charts or tables that your analyst has given you.

Instructions

  1. Select two graphical representations of data, such as pie charts, bar charts, scatter plots and trend lines, or tables.
    • You may use published articles, annual report graphics from publicly traded companies, or any published business report.
    • A list of appropriate articles has been compiled for this assessment. You may select one of the articles from the list in Resources or find your own article that meets the criteria.
    • If you cannot find any published data graphics, you may create them.
  2. Identify the business context, such as an online store, a brick-and-mortar business, year-end review, product kickoff, recently merged or new IPO company, or a family-owned business.
    • This company background information should help explain why the data is relevant.
  3. Interpret your chosen data representation in the context of the business situation. The following are typical questions an analyst would use to interpret the data:
    • What is being measured (the variables)?
    • What are the relationships among the variables?
    • What are the trends in the data?
    • How can the data be applied in the business context?
  4. Create an effective 6-slide PowerPoint presentation that could be presented at a departmental meeting.
    • An effective PowerPoint presentation for this purpose typically includes:
      • 1 title slide, APA formatted.
      • 1 introduction slide explaining the business context.
      • 1 slide for each of the two graphics in your report.
        • You may insert or paste the charts and include an appropriate citation (2 total slides for this portion of the presentation).
        • Explain the meaning of each graphical data representation.
      • 1 conclusion slide in which you explain how the data may affect the business context or how each graph may be applied in your business context to inform decision making.
      • 1 slide with APA-formatted references, including the source of each graph.
  5. Prepare a short speech that presents your analysis so that it is relevant to people of all levels of the company.

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