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 processes and 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.
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.
Set up Your Spreadsheet
1. Begin opening the spreadsheet.
2. Save as, and re-name it: LASTNAME_Workforce_Composition_Analysis_Semester_Year
3. Format the spreadsheet for Landscape with Narrow Margins.
4. Enter your name, date, and page number in the Footer area of the sheet.
5. Format the entire spreadsheet for Verdana 11 font.
6. The gray box at the top of the spreadsheet indicates what cell formatting to use for each column. Format columns accordingly.
7. Bold the column heading titles.
8. Rename Tab 1: Data.
Note: There are three sections to the spreadsheet on Tab 1, separated by gray bands, titled: Section 1: Data, Section 2: Category Keys and Summary Tables, and Section 3: Data Analysis
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.
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?
As a starting point, in cell D9, use Define a Name under the Formulas menu to create the name “Annual_Hrs.” When setting up the name, enter the constant =2080 in the box named “Refers to.” 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, create a formula that calculates the hourly rate for each employee, by referencing the employee’s salary in Column C, divided by the name you created for the annual hours of 2080. Complete the calculations for the remainder of Column E.
In Column F, calculate the number of years worked for each employee by creating a formula that incorporates cell F9 and demonstrates your understanding of relative and absolute cells in Excel.
In Column I, use an IF statement to flag with a “Yes” any employees who have been employed 10 years or more.
Using the function VLookup, 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.
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.
Summarize the Data
You are now ready to move into Section 2 to prepare the data for future analysis, to include some simple statistical analyses and charts and graphs to present the data. To start, begin by presenting categories of data in summary tables and counting them, totaling them, and calculating percentages. This basic analysis helps you begin to describe patterns in the data and starts to form the story of the workforce.
Complete each table in Section 2. Use the Countif Function to count each item in each table. Use the Sum Function to total the tables when required. Calculate percentages for each table as required. Format cells appropriately. Remember to make smart use of reference cells in formulas (avoid typing in numbers or text into formulas – point to other cells) and use mixed and fixed cell references to make copying formulas easier/faster. Your supervisor will look for this!
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!
Descriptive or Summary Statistics Introduction
In this section, you will expand your analysis by employing descriptive statistics or summary statistics to further describe characteristics of the workforce. Your summary table described “how many” and also offered proportions in relation to the entire workforce, but through this analysis, you can describe much more. For each of the following: salary, hourly rate, years of service, education, and age, calculate the:
mean, median, mode – average, middle, and most frequent data points in a set.
standard deviation – how spread out individual data points are from the mean; if data points vary greatly, the result is a higher standard deviation and vice versa. It is referred to as a “measure of dispersion” calculated as the square root of the variance. (Note: standard deviations – when calculating manually in Excel, you might see a slight difference between the result you get manually and the result you get using the Analysis Toolpak, depending on whether your version of Excel requires you to use the function DSTDEV or STDEV.S).
variance – the average squared distance between the mean and each data value. It is also a measure of dispersion, which is used to calculate the standard deviation. It is always nonnegative because the calculated squares are positive or zero. A small variance means that the data points are very close to the mean and to each other; thus, a high variance tells us that the data points are very spread out from the mean and from each other.
range – the difference between the highest (MAX) and lowest (MIN) values in a data set.
skewness and kurtosis – numerical measures to describe the shape of a data set and how close it is to a normal distribution. Skewness describes how symmetrical the data is around the mean. Kurtosis describes height and sharpness of the central peak (its peakedness or flatness) in comparison to a normal curve.
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.
Use the Analysis Toolpak
The steps you just followed enabled you to calculate descriptive statistics using individual Excel functions. Did you know that you can generate the same descriptive statistics in one easy step?
Excel features an add-in to work with statistics as follows:
First, make sure you have enabled the data analysis toolpak feature.
Calculate the statistics for salary, hourly rate, years of service, education level, and age. Hint: You can perform these calculations in one step by highlighting the adjacent columns of data in D10:H382. Place the output on a new sheet in the workbook. Label the tab “Excel Summary Stats.”
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?
You should now have Tab 2 complete: Excel Summary Stats. 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 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
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:
Create separate pie charts that show the percentage of employees by a) gender, b) education level, and c) marital status. Explore pie chart formats.
Create separate bar charts that show the a) number of employees by race, and b) the number of employee per state.
Create a line graph for the sales summary provided.
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!
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
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.
Copy and Sort Data
Many times we want to sort data on an Excel worksheet for reporting purposes. Let’s see what other perspectives the functions of sorting and subtotaling yield.
Begin by following the steps in the “How to Copy Excel 2010 Sheet to Another Sheet” provided below. This will allow you to retain your work for Steps 2 through 7. Place the sheet at the end of the workbook and title the tab “Sorted Data.”
Delete all rows containing Section 2 and Section 3 work. Be sure to leave the section in cells F437:I422, as this section is referenced for the Vlookup function populating the region; otherwise, you will get a #N/A or #REF! Error in the column for region.
Apply the ability to sort data on each column of the spreadsheet, so that you can sort by employee #, hire date, role, etc.
Experiment with the filter funnel, sorting the data by various columns. For example, try sorting by employee number from smallest to largest. Try sorting by role in ascending order (A-Z).
Sort the spreadsheet by region.
Employ the subtotal feature to subtotal the salary for each region, with a grand total for the company.
Format the entire spreadsheet to print, so that the columns fit on the pages, and Row 1 repeats on each page.
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 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
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.
Apply Quantitative Reasoning
Now that you have completed your analysis, think about the patterns you’ve seen in the workforce and answer these questions.
1. From the created histogram (Tab 4), it appears that a large share of employees have a salary between $31,000 $40,000 or $51,000 $60,000. This may indicate reasonable promotion rate for new employees. Is this distribution unimodal or bimodal? Explain.
2. The line chart, as detailed in your “Graph Charts” Excel spreadsheet (Tab 3), shows sales increasing over the years from 1999 to 2014. In 2015, sales slightly decreased to under $4,000,000. Investors want to know what the projected sales will be in 2017. One method for determining this value is to calculate the average annual growth rate per year, based on historical trends. For example, if sales were $200 last year and $500 this year, the average annual growth rate would be calculated as ($200+$500)/2. Calculate the average annual growth rate for 1999
–2015 and projected sales for 2017.
3. The standard deviation provides insight into the distribution of values around the mean. If the standard deviation is small, the more narrow the range between the lowest and highest value. That is, values will cluster close to the mean. From your descriptive statistics, describe your standard deviations. What does this tell you about the variables?
4. The company has a keen interest in the educational, race, and gender makeup of its workforce. Its emphasis is on a diverse, dynamic workforce. From your “Graph Charts” spreadsheet, describe your pie chart findings for these characteristics of the workforce. Describe how you would determine how the company was meeting expectations on these characteristics.
5. The company is conducting an analysis on how many positions to create to keep up with demand. Specifically, it wants to identify a rough estimate of the number of positions per job title. From your Excel chart, identify the mode of the job title distribution. Describe your findings.
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:
Excel Workbook with Six Tabs
Tab 1: Data—completed data sheet (Steps 1–6 above)
Tab 2: Excel Summary Stats (Step 6)
Tab 3: Graphs—Charts (Step 7)
Tab 4: Histogram (Step 7)
Tab 5: Sorted Data (Step 8)
Quantitative Analysis (Step 9; see detail below and move to first position upon completion.)
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:
Excel Summary Stats
Format to Be Printed
Format this workbook so that all the spreadsheets can be printed.
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