Skill(s) Being Assessed: Problem Solving – Data Analysis (Quantitative Communication)
Criteria for Success: In this assignment, you will:
- Accurately summarize the article including ALL of the following:
- Topic – what real-world problem does it address?
- Date of publication/study.
- Audience for the article.
- Why the article was written.
- Explain which categories of descriptive statistics are used in the study and how they are used to communicate the information found in the study and/or the conclusions/solutions posed. Make connections to the real-world problem the article is addressing.
- Describe several connections, using specific examples, between the information presented/the problem and its larger impact to the world/your major/current job/future career goal.
- Recommend several highly relevant and valid solutions based on the mathematical and visual data provided in the article.
- Create an accurate visual for the data that helps communicate a story/solution to the audience. The visual uses appropriate size, text, color, and labels.
- Communicate recommended solutions and benefits using language and visuals customized to the purpose and audience. Explain how the language, purpose, and visuals are effective for the selected audience.
What to Submit / Deliverables: The assignment includes an application to a professional conference in two parts:
- A Conference Application on Data-Driven Decision Making with questions to complete. Download the Week 9 Assignment Template [DOCX].
- A PowerPoint presentation.
What is the value of doing this assignment? This assignment gives you the opportunity to apply the statistical concepts and methods you have learned throughout the course to a current real-world problem. You will continue to practice your problem-solving skill through analysis of data—examining how others use descriptive statistics, and creating your own mathematical visuals in order to analyze and draw conclusions based on this data.
You will also practice taking initiative in putting together a conference application on the problem identified and sharing your findings with a specific audience. This will additionally help you practice communicating effectively—a skill you can use in your personal and professional lives every day.
As you work to complete this assignment, you will continue to practice results-driven strategies. You will have the opportunity to engage in a statistical process while working toward a specific goal, use measurement to report results, and consider the quality and integrity of data and the ways it can be used to effectively communicate solutions.
Your goal for this assignment is to: Apply the statistical concepts and methods you have learned to a current real-world problem by using your problem solving, initiative, and results-driven skills to complete an application and presentation for a professional conference that incorporates the data analysis, conclusions, and recommendations you have reached.
What you need to complete this assignment:
- Newspaper article that uses statistical data.
- Conference Application in the Week 9 Assignment Template
- PowerPoint or other presentation tool (check with your instructor if you have questions).
Scenario: You are submitting an application to a professional conference on data-driven decision making. The application has two parts:
- Providing information to the conference organizers.
- Creating a presentation for the conference audience.
Steps to complete: In Week 9, complete and submit your assignment in Blackboard using the following steps:
STEP 1: Visit one of the following newspapers’ websites: USA Today, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Washington Post. Select an article that uses statistical data related to a current event, your major, your current field, or your future career goal. The chosen article must have been published after the start of this term.
Examples may include:
- Elections/exit polls
- Award shows (Oscars/Emmys/Grammys)
- Economy/job market
- Gender equality
- Human rights issues
The article should use one or more of the following categories of descriptive statistics:
- Measures of Frequency – Counting Rules, Percent, Frequency, Frequency Distributions
- Measures of Central Tendency – Mean, Median, Mode
- Measures of Dispersion or Variation – Range, Variance, Standard Deviation
- Measures of Position – Percentile, Quartiles
Note: Once you navigate to a publication’s website, it may be easiest to do a search with a statistics-related word (ex: standard deviation).
The publications listed are suggestions. If you find an article from another source OR if you are uncertain the article contains all of the information necessary to complete the assignment, please let your instructor know. Your instructor can help you determine whether it is a good fit for this assignment. If you need additional help locating an article, contact a Strayer librarian for more assistance. Remember to review the examples in the Week 6 Discussion.
STEP 2: Using the data from your article, use the template included in this assignment to answer the following questions asked by the conference organizers. Remember to consider their expertise as mathematical professionals and use appropriate language to communicate your findings:
- Highlight the purpose of the article and the problem it is trying to solve. Think summary, in bullet-form.
- Explain how the article uses descriptive statistics to communicate information found in the study and/or any conclusions/solutions.
- Explain how the article applies to the real world, your major, your current job, or your future career goal.
- Recommend solutions using the mathematical and visual data provided.
STEP 3: An additional part of the application process requires you to create a presentation based on the information provided in the template.
- Based on your topic, choose an audience (outside of the field of mathematics) that could benefit from the information you will present. For example, this could be your local city council member, staff or administrators of a school, or employees at a company.
- Analyze the data in the article to determine the best visual (graph or chart) to tell the story to your audience.
- In PowerPoint or other presentation tool, create one visualization of the data appropriate for the conference audience. NOTE: If the article already contains a visual, you must create a different type of graph or chart.
- Identify the audience and explain how the audience can benefit from the data.
- Recommend your identified solutions using language appropriate for the audience.
STEP 4: In the notes section of your final slide, answer the following questions:
- Explain why you chose the audience in Part B.
- Describe how the visuals used in the PowerPoint are appropriate for the audience.
STEP 5: Format your presentation according to the Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.
STEP 6: Submit your assignment in two parts:
- The Week 9 Assignment Template
- Your presentation
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