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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 (6-10 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 have been invited to present at a departmental meeting with employees from all levels within the organization. You have been allotted 6-10 minutes to speak.

Your Role

The purpose of your speech is to explain the business context as well as two charts or tables that you have evaluated as a business analyst of the organization.

Your business report to the group will be a slide presentation with speaker notes and appropriate citations and references.

Instructions

Complete the following:

  1. Article Identification. Use one of the articles listed under Article Options subheading below or find an article in Forbes or other business journal or an annual report from a publicly traded company that includes at least two data graphs or tables. 
    • The graphs should depict or represent data using pie charts, bar charts, tables, scatter plots, trend lines, et cetera.
  2. Read the article and identify the business context. Business context includes organizational history, mission, product and services, environment, competitive advantage, competition, et cetera. You can also determine business context from additional sources (and you should). 
    • The company or organizational background information should help explain why the data are relevant. This will be the introductory information for your business report, presentation, or assessment.
  3. Interpret your chosen data representations 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 6-10 slide PowerPoint deck with detailed presenter’s notes (including citations and reference slides) elaborating on each point that will be presented at a departmental meeting. For example: 
    • Organization/business context.
    • Relevance/importance of information.
    • Source of data set and any limitations?
    • Graphic of data 1 – with interpretations of graph.
    • Graph of data 2 – with interpretations of graph.
    • Importance of data analysis in terms of business context.
    • Summary.
    • Reference slides.

An effective PowerPoint presentation for this purpose typically includes:

  • One title slide, APA formatted.
  • 1-2 introduction slides explaining the business context.
  • Several slides. You should copy and paste (insert) the graphs or tables and include an appropriate citation. Each slide should include detailed speaker notes.
  • Several slides. Include your interpretation of each graphical data representation.
  • Conclusion slides in which you explain how the data may affect the business context or how it could be applied in your business context to inform decision making.
  • Slide with at least four APA-formatted references, including the source of each graph.
Article Options

For this assessment, you will need to choose among business articles from periodicals, annual reports of publicly traded companies, or published business reports to find two graphical representations of data.

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