STA101A Data-informed Decisionmaking

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Assessment instructions
A. Introduction

1.  Apply the data analytical and statistical concepts and MS Excel techniques you learnt to:

à to solve business problems and recommend business decisions.

2.  The two outcomes:

à You demonstrate you can process real-life data with MS Excel to produce insights valuable for a business

à You develop and demonstrate the skill of producing a workplace report with MS Word that is professional and has polish.

B. Task description

1.  The lecturer will give you realistic business problems (one, an individual-report-questions document, and two, an accompanying Excel data set).

à Using these, compose a report of 1,000 words or less that solves the business problems.

2.  The business problems may involve a selection (but not all) of these concepts and techniques:

·         Descriptive statistics (including using Excel functions) (Week 2’s topic)

·         Graphical descriptive statistics (charts, including using Excel functions) (Week 3’s topic)

·         Chi-squared test (goodness-of-fit test, test of independence) (Week 4’s topic)

·         Hypothesis testing I (t-test), involving a sample from one population (Week 7’s topics)

·         Hypothesis testing II (t-test, ANOVA), involving a sample each from two or more populations (Week 8’s topic)

3.  Using MS Word and MS Excel:

à craft the report based on the charts, calculations, and the final answers

à your written interpretation/analysis of the charts and numbers.

4.  Give your report a title on the first page of your report. Then:

à organise the report into sections, with headings like, ‘1. Introduction’, ‘2. Chart-based analysis’, ‘3. Excel-based analysis’, ‘4. Chi-squared test’, ‘6. Hypothesis testing I’, and ‘7. Hypothesis testing II’, and so on

à this depends on the mix of questions that you get in the ‘individual report question’ document.

5.     Use your own words to explain what the calculations and numbers you generated mean for a business.

à assume that you are reporting your findings to a high-level manager/boss who is not well-versed in data analysis and statistics

à explain what your chart’s and numerical statistical results are in a clear and insightful way and provide business advice

à this is so your manager can understand and easily make a business decision.

6.   The formatting and structure (font size, spacing, headings), and the logical flow of your report writing must be:

à are neat and professional

à a messy look is a sign of slapdash work. This could mean lower marks

à follow any guidelines that the lecturer provides you on how the report should be structured (see, for example, in the ‘individual report questions’ document).

7.  Charts, diagrams and tables should be drawn neatly by hand if you are unable to create them using your computer.

C. Submission

1.  You must submit two (2) items:

à your completed MS Word report. There will be a link for this in Moodle

à the completed MS Excel file which you used to solve the problems. There will be a separate link for this in Moodle

à even though you are submitting the MS Excel file, you must still do this: any Excel solutions you generated (chart, calculations, Data Analysis output etc.) must be copied and pasted into your MS Word report.

2.  These two items must be submitted via the Turnitin links provided on the course’s Moodle page; emailed submissions will be rejected and you will get 0%:

àIf there are a few different lecturers for your subject, submit to the Turnitin links specified for YOUR lecturer.

Readings for the assessment (instructions where they can be found e.g., MyAthens database or Moodle)
To assist you with writing this report, use the materials found on your Moodle page (lecture slides, exercises, textbook chapters, videos, Excel sheets and other documents). No extra reference material is necessary. You are free to refer to any additional textbooks and online learning resources.
Grading Criteria / Rubric
1.  The marking criteria mimic expectations your boss would have if you were required to produce a meticulous but concise data-powered report for work: simple, clear, informative, systematic, correct calculations, answers and sensible and intelligent interpretations and business advice.

2.  Here is the general marking criteria. Check if your report fulfils them.

No                   Criteria                                                                             Comment

Does the report demonstrate a clear understanding of the concepts or theories learnt during class?

Does the report read easily and do the sentences and paragraphs

Do you demonstrate you                      flow logically?

understand the concepts,                      Were the concepts and techniques applied correctly?

1          your calculations are

correct, and you                            Were correct notations and terms used?

interpreted your

findings?                                  Were the calculations and answers correct? Did the student interpret the answers or findings?

Were diagrams used where it should be used? Are the diagrams neatly drawn and have proper captions?

3.  Marks will be deducted for wrong answers AND if the report:

-           does not use the formatting instructions given in the ‘individual report questions document’

-           goes beyond the word limit of 1,000 words excessively (if you wrote 10% more words that is acceptable)

-           does not have page numbers at the bottom

-           does not look professional or neat but looks sloppy, hastily assembled and glaring grammatical and spelling mistakes

-           has an appendix or a table of contents – so please DO NOT use appendices or tables of contents

4.  The detailed marking rubric is provided below:


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