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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 the qualitative research process 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, draw analyses and validate them by applying them to the issue or problem.

This project will enable you to see the connection between data and how the use of 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 project as it might occur in the workplace, then continue with Step 1: Refresh Your Math, Statistics, and Excel Skills.

When you submit your project, your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below. You can use the list below to self-check your work before submission.

• 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.

• 1.2: Develop coherent paragraphs or points so that each is internally unified and so that each functions as part of the whole document or presentation.

• 1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.

• 1.5: Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience.

• 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.

• 3.1: Identify numerical or mathematical information that is relevant in a problem or situation.

• 3.2: Employ mathematical or statistical operations and data analysis techniques to arrive at a correct or optimal solution.

• 3.3: Analyze mathematical or statistical information, or the results of quantitative inquiry and manipulation of data.

• 3.4: Employ software applications and analytic tools to analyze, visualize, and present data to inform decision-making.

• Step 1: Refresh Your Math, Statistics and Excel Skills

• Everyone will begin this project with different background skills in math, statistics and Excel. Let’s start by thinking about what it means to engage in quantitative processesand the role these skills play in this project.

• Next, assess your current baseline by refreshing your skills in math, statistics, and Excel. You will choose how much you already know and where you need to concentrate more attention in order to complete this quantitative analysis project.

• After this refresher, you will create your own spreadsheet based on the template provided in the next step.

• If you need help outside the classroom, you can register for the STAT 689 tutoring room (go to the Project 4 Discussion for registration information) in which you can access tutoring help and other resources to enable you to complete this project successfully. Help is free and immediate!

Step 2: Set Up Your Spreadsheet

Now that you’ve assessed and refreshed these important skills, you’re ready to begin. First download the Excel template course file and use it to set up your spreadsheet. This step has you set up your basic view in preparation for the use of several tools.

After you’ve formatted and set up your basic view and saved it 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, where you will use functions to summarize the data.

PRO Example for add data to your spreadsheet

Add Data

In Section 1 on the Data page, complete each column of the spreadsheet to arrive at the desired calculations. Use Excel formulas to demonstrate that you can perform the calculations in Excel. Remember, a cell address is the combination of a column and a row. For example, C11 refers to Column C, Row 11 in a spreadsheet.

Reminder: Occasionally in Excel, you will create an unintentional circular reference. This means that within a formula in a cell, you directly or indirectly referred to (back to) the cell. For example, while entering a formula in A3, you enter =A1+A2+A3. This is not correct and will result in an error. Excel allows you to remove or allow these references.

Hint: Another helpful feature in Excel is Paste Special. Mastering this feature allows you to copy and paste all elements of a cell, or just select elements like the formula, the value or the formatting.

"Names" are a way to define cells and ranges in your spreadsheet and can be used in formulas. For review and refresh, see the resources for Create Complex Formulas and Work with Functions.

Ready to Begin?

1. To calculate hourly rate, you will use the annual hourly rate already computed in Excel, which is 2080. This is the number most often used in annual salary calculations based on full time, 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. In E11 (or the first cell in the Hrly Rate column), create a formula that calculates the hourly rate for each employee, by referencing the employee’s salary in Column D, divided by the value of annual hours, 2080. To do this, you will create a simple formula: =D11/2080 Complete the calculations for the remainder of Column E. If you don’t want to do this cell by cell, you can create a new formula that will let you use that same formula all the way to the end of the column. It would look like this: =$D$11:$D$382/2080

2. In Column F, calculate the number of years worked for each employee by creating a formula that incorporates the date in cell F9 and demonstrates your understanding of relative and absolute cells in Excel. For this, you will need a formula that can compute absolute values to determine years of service. You could do this longhand, but it would take you a long time. So, try the YEARFRAC formula, which computes the number of years (and even rounds for you). Once you start the formula in Excel, the element will appear to guide you. You need to know the “ending” date (F9) and the hiring date (B11). The formula looks like this:=YEARFRAC($F$9,B11) and the $ will repeat the formula calculation down the column as before if you grab the edge of the cell and drag it to the bottom of the column.

3. To determine if an employee is vested or not In Column I, use an IF statement to flag with a "Yes" any employees who have been employed 10 years or more. Here is how an IF statement works: =IF(X is greater (or less than) Y, “Answer”, IF not, “Answer”). To create this as a formula it would look like this:=IF(F11>=10,"Yes","No") You can drag this formula down the column or highlight the starting cell, hold down the shift key, and zip down to cell 382 and release and the whole column should compute properly.

4. Using the VLookup function, use the Region Key located at F417:G420 to fill in the cells in Column N to identify the region in which the employee is located based on the state listed in Column M. (If this function is new to you – hang in there – this one is worth it

Using the VLookup function, use the Region Key located at F417:G420 to fill in the cells in Column N to identify the region in which the employee is located based on the state listed in Column M. (If this function is new to you – hang in there – this one is worth it

There are some video resources available that address some common "hard spots" in this Excel assignment. Do not be confused if you see a data set that is different than yours - the principles are the same! Remember, if you have any questions, ask.

Snip is used by courtesy of Microsoft.

You will devise a formula that will match the state to a region (in position 2). We will use the $ function to enable a repeat of the formula down the column. =VLOOKUP(M11,$F$417:$G$420,2,FALSE)

To view videos that explain these formulas, please refer back to Step 1 under the link entitled Access Tutoring Help and Other Resources. The videos were created for another class but pertain to this same data set.

Remember: if you have any questions, ask!

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

You’ve summarized the data, and next, you will employ descriptive or summary statistics to analyze the workforce. Your summary table described "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!

Your data set in Tab 1 should now be built. Next, you’ll create Tab 2: Excel Summary Stats.

Step 6: Use the Analysis Toolpak

With your data set built, you will now use the Analysis Toolpak to do those same functions. This is a handy feature to know. Remember that there may be some minor differences in the answers depending on the version.

You should now have Tab 2 complete: Excel Summary Stats. Next, you’ll create charts and a histogram for Tabs 3 and 4.

Use the Analysis Toolpak

You have just finished calculating descriptive statistics using individual Excel functions. Did you know that you could generate the same descriptive statistics in one easy step? Excel features an add-in, called the Toolpak, to work with statistics. Try it now.

1. First, make sure you have enabled the data analysis Toolpak feature. (See the resource below for instructions.) You will calculate the statistics for salary, hourly rate, years of service, education level, and age using the Toolpak function.

2. Select the Data Analysis functions at the far right and select Descriptive Statistics.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

3. Now, you will tell Excel what you want to do and where to look for the data. Since you know that you will use the D – H columns for this operation, you can perform these calculations in one step by highlighting the adjacent five columns of data in D10:H382. That will be the input. You want the output on a new sheet in the workbook.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

4. When you select OK, Excel will calculate the statistics and put them on a new tab, labeled Sheet 1. (See below.) You will have to "size" the column dimensions, but the work has been done for you.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

5. Label the tab "Excel Summary Stats."

6. Compare your calculations using the data analysis feature to the results you obtained in the previous step, when you calculated the results manually with individual functions. How did you do?

7. Remember the Toolpak. You will use this tool again to create your histogram.

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 context of data if we can see it captured in an image. In this step, 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: Graphs—Charts and Tab 4: Histogram. After you complete these tabs, you’ll be ready to sort the data.

Work with Data to Create Charts

It is often helpful to view and interpret analytical results when they are presented visually. Graphs and charts help readers digest and interpret information more quickly, consistent with the familiar adage "a picture is worth a thousand words." Let’s see what we can see in your data analysis.

Create the following graphs in your workbook on a separate tab named Graphs_Charts:

1. Create separate pie charts that show the percentage of employees by a) gender, b) education level, and c) marital status. Explore pie chart formats.

2. Create separate bar charts that show the a) number of employees by race, and b) the number of employee per state.

3. Create a line graph for the sales summary provided.

4. Create a histogram that shows the number of employees in incremental salary ranges of $10,000. Here, you want to show how many employees are making 0-$10,000, $10,999-$20,000, up to $210,000. This involves counting how many for each "salary bucket," creating what is called a frequency distribution table and histogram. Histograms seem hard, but mastering how to visualize the frequency of events is so helpful in analysis!

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Note: Your Excel spreadsheet template has the upper limit and labels already identified. Complete the table and histogram by engaging the Data Analysis Toolpak. Place the output on a new worksheet and label it Histogram.

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 to be able to do is sort data in an Excel worksheet for reporting purposes. You’ll copy and sort the data.. This is a good skill that applies to any Excel application.

In this step, you will create Tab 5: Sorted Data. When you’re finished, you’ll be ready to conduct your quantitative analysis.

See below for example of 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. Bring your powers of analysis to bear to determine what the data may be telling you. Apply your quantitative reasoning skillsby 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

• a description of how you would investigate further to determine if your results could be perceived as good or bad for the company.

Prepare your response in this workbook. Create a tab for Quantitative Analysis, create a text box, and paste your answers to above questions and your essay in it. Move the tab to the first tab position.

Good job! In the next step, you’ll submit your workbook and analysis.

Step 10: Submit Your Completed Workbook and Analysis

You’re now ready to submit your workbook and analysis. Review the requirements for the final deliverable to be sure you have:

1. Excel Workbook with Six Tabs

o Tab 1: Data—completed data sheet (Steps 1–6 above)

o Tab 2: Excel Summary Stats (Step 6)

o Tab 3: Graphs—Charts (Step 7)

o Tab 4: Histogram (Step 7)

o Tab 5: Sorted Data (Step 8)

Quantitative Analysis (Step 9; see detail below and move to first position upon completion.)

2. Answers to Questions and Short Essay

Prepare your response in this workbook. Create a tab for Quantitative Analysis, create a text box, and paste your answers to the questions and your essay in it. Move the Quantitative Analysis tab to the first tab position.

Make sure the following tabs are included in your final workbook:

o Quantitative Analysis

o Data

o Excel Summary Stats

o Graphs–Charts

o Histogram

o Sorted Data

3. Format to Be Printed

Format this workbook so that all the spreadsheets can be printed.

Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below, which your instructor will use to evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have incorporated all of them in your work.

• 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.

• 1.2: Develop coherent paragraphs or points so that each is internally unified and so that each functions as part of the whole document or presentation.

• 1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.

• 1.5: Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience.

• 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.

• 3.1: Identify numerical or mathematical information that is relevant in a problem or situation.

• 3.2: Employ mathematical or statistical operations and data analysis techniques to arrive at a correct or optimal solution.

• 3.3: Analyze mathematical or statistical information, or the results of quantitative inquiry and manipulation of data.

• 3.4: Employ software applications and analytic tools to analyze, visualize, and present data to inform decision-making.

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